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'1MJ1 > IT 




9040 8 Gl60i 







Green and quiet as a land of dreams. P. 9. 





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by 

in the Clerk's Office for the Northern District of New York. 






®I}U tDork 




Adams, John Quincy .... 298 

Allen, Stephen 210 

Angel, William G 86 

Anthon, Charles 141 

Astor, John Jacob 272 

Banvard, John 385 

Bailey, Mrs 253 

Bayly, Thomas H 405 

Barclay, Anthony 308 

Beck, Theodoric Romeyn . . . 122 

Beach, Moses Y. 289 

Beers, Cyrus 263 

Beers, George D 349 

Brooks, Erastus 132 

Brooks, James 309 

Bryant, William Cullen . . . .269 

Brittan, Samuel B 270 

Burritt, Elihu 39 

Butler, Benjamin Franklin . . 208 

Burke, Edmund 211 

Bush, George 263 

Buel, Jesse 311 

Bullard, Otis A. 344 

Cambreleng, C. C 276 

Campbell, William W 108 

Carlin, John 352 

Cass, Lewis 408 

Clifford, Nathan 127 

Clay, Cassius M 355 

Clay, Henry 

Cooper, James Fennimore . . 293 

Conner, James 897 

Croswell, Edwin 285 

Danforth, M. J 347 

Dean, Amos 168 

Delavan, Edward C. ..... 83 


Dewey, Orville -300 

Edmonds, John W 840 

Evans, Oliver 406 

Fish, Preserved 197 

Fisher, Alanson 401 

Folger, Walter 67 

Folsom, George 251 

French, Benjamin B 320 

Francis, John W 126 

Gallatin, Albert 134 

Gallatin, James . . .■ . . .138 

Gales, Joseph 337 

Gordon, Samuel 159 - 

Greeley, Horace 281 

Gridley, Abraham 219 

Grinnell, Zelotis 266 

Griffin, Orrin 303 

Harper, James 56 

Harris, Ira 91 

Hale, David 296 

Hall, Samuel H. P. 151 

Hamilton, Mrs. Alexander . . 326 

Hathaway, Charles 130 

Hoffman, Ogden 195 

Hone, Philip 93 

Howard, Leland 233 

Howard, Calvin 238 

Holmes, Isaac E 400 

Hughes, John 126 

Hunt, Freeman 174 

Irving, Washington 188 

Jefferson, Thomas 348 

Jennings, Chester 817 

Johnson, Richard M 408 



'*-* Johnson, Stephen C 216 

Judson, Mrs. Emily 202 

Kemble, Governeur 89 

Kent, James 340 

Kettell, Thomas Prentice . . .166 

Knapp, Shepherd 

Knapp, Jacob 328 

Lewis, Dixon H 88 

Loomis, Arphaxad 355 

Madison, Mrs 339 

March, Alden 255 

Mickle, Andrew H. . . . . . 142 

Morris, Robert H 214 

Morris, George P 102 

Morse, Samuel F. B 179 

Mott, Valentine 129 

Noah, Mordecai M 402 

Ogden, David B 81 

Olcott, Thomas W 157 

-- Parker, Amasa J 116 

Paulding, James K 143 

Perry, John L .336 

Pratt, Zadock ....... 9 

Purdy, Elijah F 198 

Rathbone, Samuel 398 

Richards, T. Addison .... 403 
Ridgway, Jacob 299 


Ritchie, Thomas 346 

Root, Erastus 247 

Rowe, Van Rensselaer . . . 155 

Sanford, Edward 140 

Sawyer, William 384 

Sears, Robert 62 

Spofford, Paul 252 

Southwick, Solomon 365 

Staats, Barent P 163 

Stanton, Benjamin 200 

Street, Alfred B. ..... . 97 

Story, Joseph 302 

Tallmadge, Frederick A. . . . 124 
Thorburn, Grant 181 

Van Bur en, Martin . . . . • 49 
Van Buren, John 51 

Walworth, Reuben Hyde . . 68 

Ward, Elijah 294 

Ward, Aaron 144 

Warner, Thomas . . . . . .100 

Watson, Malbone 313 

Webster, Daniel 275 

Weed, Thurlow 359 

White, Edwin 325 

Whiting, James R 231 

Whitney, Eli .407 

Willard, Emma 224 

Woodhull, Caleb S 367 

Wright, Silas 172 


Andrew Fuller once remarked that " he would rather 
be like the moon, which, although full of spots and imper- 
fections, lends a useful light to men, than a meteor, with 
its dazzling but transient glare, exciting only the wonder 
of mankind." It was in the spirit of this sentiment that 
we compiled the following pages, embracing brief sketches, 
for the most part, of the lives of men who, by unwearied 
perseverance, have triumphed over difficulties. Born in 
an humble sphere, which precluded the advantages of a 
liberal education, we resolved, that although unable to 
write a learned work, we would attempt to produce a use- 
ful one. Hence, the fastidious critic who shall search for 
faults, will be rewarded with an abundant harvest. If, 
however, this volume shall serve as a hint to those so well 
able to write a better, a valuable end will have been 
attained. But, in the absence of such, we flatter ourself 
that the Biographical Sketch Book, with all its defects, 
will not be entirely unacceptable to a discerning public. 
The "needle," although unpolished, may yet serve to point 
the way to the " pole ;" and if the examples set forth shall 
cheer but one sufferer, and enable him to wait with 
patience for the bright dawning of to-morrow, the labor 
will not have been in vain. 


It is hoped that the work will prove especially interest- 
ing to the young, inasmuch as it will furnish numerous 
illustrations of the fact, that " untiring industry will accom- 
plish wonders ;" and that with this for his motto, the poor 
clerk has become the rich merchant — the plow boy a 
legislator — the errand boy a minister plenipotentiary- — the 
mechanic has exchanged his hammer for the speaker's 
mace — and a poor friendless youth has filled with honor 
the presidential chair. 

From the eventful lives of the subjects of these sketches, 
it will be seen, that as in the inorganic, so in the living and 
moral world, there is a succession of changes ; and that 
although many of the bright hopes which may have been 
sent forth to meet the future, have returned, like the dove 
to the ark, having found no resting place in the weary 
world ; yet, as has been beautifully observed, it is in the 
darkest thunder cloud that the most brilliant lightning 
sleeps, and the tear which has flowed even in the anguish 
of despair, must, by the laws of nature, sooner or later re- 
appear in the rainbow. And as the telescope has resolved 
the golden mists of the milky way into suns and systems, 
so one day shall the clouds of our existence be converted 
into stars. Repeated troubles are sent, not as lightning 
on the scathed tree, blasting it yet more, but as the strokes 
of the sculptor on the marble block, hewing it to the 
image of life and moral loveliness. He at whose voice 
primeval darkness vanished, and 

The startled seas and mountains cold, 
Shone forth all bright in blue and gold, 
And cried, 'Tis day, 'tis dcy ! 

does not, in the course of His providence, permit affliction 
to continue but for a season, when he hangs out his " bow 
in the cloud." " Sweet are the uses of adversity." How 
many transcendent talents would have been lost to the 
world, but for reverses. 


Rills o'er rocky beds are borne, 
Ere they gush in whiteness: 

Pebbles are wave-chased, and worn, 
Ere they show their brightness. 

Sweetest gleam the morning flowers, 
When in tears they waken ; 

Earth enjoys refreshing showers, 
When the boughs are shaken. 

It will also be seen, that although there are many thorns 
in the pathway of life, yet there are " corals, and pearls, 
and roses," which may be gathered by those whose hearts 
are attuned aright. 

Earth is not all fair, yet it is not all gloom, 
And the voice of the grateful will tell, 

That He, who allotted Pain, Death, and the Tomb, 
Gave Hope, Health, and the Bridal as well. 

hopelessly rare is the portion that's ours, 
And strange is the path that we take, 

If there spring not beside us a few precious flowers, 
To soften the thorn and the brake. 

The narratives will also furnish evidence of the fact, 
that most of those who have successfully battled with 
difficulties, are married men. Indeed, it will readily be 
granted, that as to efficiency in life, the bachelor cannot be 
compared with the married man. To provide for a wife 
and children is one of the greatest of all possible spurs to 
exertion. Many a man, says Cobbett, naturally prone to 
idleness, has become active and industrious, when he saw 

children growing up about him ; and many a dull sluggard 
has become a bright man when roused to exertion by his 
love. To a young man, especially, nothing is so important 
as an attachment to some virtuous and amiable woman, 
whose image may occupy his heart, and guard it from the 


pollution which besets it on all sides. With justice ought 
we to lay at her feet the laurels which, without her, 
would never have been gained. It is her image that 
strings the lyre of the poet, that animates the voice of the 
orator, and which urges on the hero to deeds of noble 
daring; and whatever may be the harsher feelings that 
life may develope, there is no one, however callous and 
constrained he may have become, whose brow will not 
grow pensive at the memory of first love. 

" Bless thee, O woman ! for dark were this world with- 
out thee ; cold and wintry without the sunlight of thy 
smiles ; dry and withering even, without thy tears ; harsh 
and perfumeless without the incense of thy sighs ; dull and 
echoless without the music of thy voice !" 




Ho ! all who labor, all who strive'. 

Ye wield a lofty power ; 
Do with your might, do with your strength, 

Fill every golden hour. 
The glorious privilege to do v 

Is man's most noble dower. 

Autumn was upon us with its " dyed garments 
of glory," and low purple clouds hung in festoons 
around the steeps, when by the crimson light of a 
setting sun, which transmuted every feature of the 
landscape into living gold, the writer first caught a 
glimpse of the beautiful village of Prattsville, as it 
lay nestled among the mountains, with its water- 
falls and fountains, elegant dwellings, churches 
and burial grounds, " green and quiet as a land of 
dreams." The extreme neatness of the place, and 
the good taste everywhere apparent, naturally led 
to inquiries as to the origin of this " gem of the 
wilderness." With what success these investiga- 
tions have been attended, will appear from the fol- 
lowing notice of the worthy founder. 

The great interest manifested in the remarkable 
career of the Hon. Zadock Pratt, and the strong 
desire of his numerous friends in all parts of the 
country, to obtain additional memorials of his life 
and character, have induced the writer to devote a 


much larger space to this gentleman than was ori- 
ginally intended. The fame of his industry and 
perseverance, and of his extensive and successful 
enterprises, is widely spread ; and thousands of in- 
telligent young men who have read of his wealth 
and liberality, are anxious to obtain further parti- 
culars of his life, that they may imitate his exam- 
ple. The numerous individuals whom he has 
aided, especially those of the laboring classes, and 
the various communities and societies who have 
experienced the beneficial effects of his philanthro- 
pic spirit, will welcome this tribute to his character 
and public services. The compiler has not aimed 
at display, but has endeavored to give a succinct 
and connected narrative of an unassuming and 
patriotic citizen, who, by the force of his native 
genius, has risen from obscurity to distinction, from 
poverty to wealth, and from the workshop to the 
halls of Congress ; and who, in whatever situation 
he has been, whether as the humble laborious tan- 
ner, the opulent banker, or the industrious and 
fearless legislator, has ever maintained the character 
of a straight forward, honest man. His life admin- 
isters a strong rebuke to the many young persons 
of romantic temperament, who look forward to the 
attainment of the highest ends of human life with- 
out dreaming of the price that must be paid for 
them. It affords an additional illustration of the 
truth, that it is impossible "to get something for 
nothing" and that the Divine declaration "thou 
shalt eat thy bread by the sweat of thy brow" has 
lost none of its force. 

Man must labor; nought is sleeping 

In the dimmest, brightest zone, 
From the worm of painful creeping 

To the seraph on the throne. 

From the brief but interesting memoir recently 
published in the Democratic Review, it appears 


that Zadock Pratt was born on the 30th of October, 
1790, at Stephentown, Rensselaer county, New 
York, and that his family is descended from the 
noble band of pilgrims, who first broke ground on 
the shores of New England— the first persons of the 
name in this country being Joshua and Phineas 
Pratt, who came over in the autumn of 1623. 
Ephraim, a grandson of Joshua Pratt, lived to the 
great age of 116 years, and died at East Sudbury, 
Massachusetts, in May, 1804. Phineas Pratt re- 
moved from Plymouth to Charleston. John, an- 
other of the family, came over in 1633, in company 
with the celebrated Puritan divines, John Cotton, 
and Thomas Hooker ; and when the church, which 
had been formed at Newtown, Massachusetts, by 
the latter, concluded to remove to Connecticut, Mr. 
Pratt was one of their number. They commenced 
their exodus in the month of June, 1636. It was 
to be through a dreary and trackless wilderness of 
more than a hundred miles. They had no guide 
but their compass ; no covering but the heavens. 
There were about one hundred persons, men, wo- 
men, and children. They drove along with them 
one hundred and sixty head of cattle, subsisting on 
their march through the wilderness, upon the wild 
fruits which they found, and the milk of their cows. 
The females who were ill, or too feeble to endure 
the journey on foot, were borne in litters upon the 
shoulders of the young athletic men. The whole 
journey occupied nearly a fortnight, during which 
they had no shelter but such as they formed of the 
branches of the trees. From the worthy Puritan 
here mentioned, the families of Pratt, in Connecti- 
cut, are mostly descended. 

The father of the principal subject of this notice 
(Zadock Pratt, senior,) was a native of Saybrook, 
Connecticut ; he was a tanner and shoemaker, and 
when the revolutionary war broke out, he shouldered 
his musket, and repaired to his country's standard 


He was engaged in several hard fought battles — 
was twice taken prisoner, and suffered much on 
board the prison ships at New York. After the 
close of the war, he removed to the state of New 
York, and died at Lexington, Greene county, in 
1829, at the age of seventy-four. 

Mrs. Pratt survived her husband but about three 
years. She died in 1832, in the seventy- fourth year 
of her age. She was a woman of superior intellect 
and of high moral worth ; and her son, even at this 
late period, never speaks of her without strong emo- 
tion, as to the excellent principles instilled by her 
into his youthful mind, he justly attributes his sub- 
sequent success. 

Zadock Pratt the younger, had no education 
other than that afforded by a common school. Out 
of school hours he worked hard to pay his board, 
and at a very early period he had to encounter 
many difficulties. The first money he ever earned 
was by gathering huckleberries, which he sold for 
a few cents per quart. From this humble beginning 
he went on, adding to his little store as opportuni- 
ties permitted ; and being well aware that industry 
without frugality is comparatively useless, he hus- 
banded all he earned with unceasing care. Pur- 
suing this course with steadiness and resolution, 
and occupying all his leisure hours in making 
leather mittens and whip lashes, for which he found 
a ready market, he soon became possessed of thirty 
dollars, a large sum for a working boy, and which 
he looked upon as the seed of future riches. Having 
early been taught the value of economy, he found 
as great a pleasure in saving his little earnings as 
did his thoughtless companions in spending theirs. 
While they earned only for present gratification, he 
was looking forward to the period when these trifles 
would enable him to lay the foundation of a pros- 
perous business. He was subsequently apprenticed 
to a saddler, named Luther Hayes, of Durham 


Greene county. Here he frequently worked until 
after nine o'clock at night, and very soon, as a re- 
ward for his great industry, received from his em- 
ployer the materials for a saddle, which with the 
same persevering toil, while the other apprentices 
slept, he succeeded in finishing before the close of 
the first season. He then exchanged the saddle for 
a watch, the first he ever possessed. 

Having completed the term of his apprenticeship, 
he for some time worked as a journeyman saddler 
for his father and brother at Lexington Heights, for 
two dollars and fifty cents per week, and then com- 
menced business for himself. His shop w'as in one 
end of an old "bark house," separated from the mill 
by a slight partition only, and through which when- 
ever the door was opened, the bark dust entered in 
clouds. Here he labored from fifteen to sixteen 
hours per day, kept an accurate account of all his 
business operations, and yearly took a complete in- 
ventory of his little property, a custom which he 
has ever since continued. Here he bought the first 
one horse waggon that had ever been seen in that 
wild country; and not having at hand the assort- 
ment of articles required in exchange, he sat \ip all 
one night and made a saddle, which supplied me 
deficiency. This judicious system placed him at 
once on the road to fortune. The first year, his 
profits were over ^.\e hundred dollar?*, the next 
year still more, and they continued to increase. 
Feeling now quite rich, he built a little red 'shop, 
where in the following year his work amounted to 
twelve hundred dollars, and the next year to four- 
teen hundred dollars. His grand secret was "living 
on little." His surplus earnings were devoted to 
the purchase of an assortment of goods with which 
he furnished one end of his shop, thus turning it 
into a country store. He still carried on his work 
at the other end, and slept under the counter upon 
the rags which the thrifty housewives of the neigh 


borhood exchanged with him for goods. It wa? 
often convenient for him to take produce in the way 
of trade; and in the season for it, he received a 
great deal of butter, most of which was packed 
down by him after nine o'clock at night. On one 
occasion, having taken a quantity of produce to 
New York, he arrived at Catskill on his return, be- 
tween four and five o'clock p. m., and walked home, 
a distance of thirty miles, the same night. Fear- 
less and hardy, he could, when circumstances re- 
quired, pass the whole night in the woods with 
impunity, and say, with the bold ranger of Sher- 

My fortress is the good green wood, 

My shade the "hemlock" tree; 
And [ know the forest round me 

As sailors know the sea. 

Among the rules which it may be said formed 
the business creed of his life, were the trite and 
homely, but expressive maxims, which he used to 
post up in his workshop and store, and mark upon 
his account books — "Do one thing at a time" — 
" Be just and fear not" — " Mind your own busi- 
ness." Blessed with an excellent constitution, and 
an iron frame ; with an indomitable resolution and 
perseverance, which no difficulty could daunt, no 
exertion weary — labor was to him the salt of his 
existence, seasoning his daily bread, and stimulat- 
ing him to further and higher exertions. From 
this time his course has been uniformly onward 
and upward. 

In 1815 Mr. Pratt sold his store, just in time to 
escape the commercial revulsion, which shortly 
afterward followed, and which ruined the firm 
which had purchased from him. He continued, 
however, to work at his trade, and also entered 
into a partnership with his brothers, in the business 
of tanning. The eldest, who had a wife and foui 


children, boarded the others: and all the expenses 
of the joint family, including doctor's bills and 
schooling, were paid out of the partnership funds. 
O that the bachelors of the present day were equally 
just ! 

During the last war with England, Mr. Pratt, in- 
heriting the patriotic spirit of his father, rallied with 
others in his vicinity, to the defence of New York, 
and the company to which he was attached made 
him their steward. Then, as now, there was cor- 
ruption in office, and which needed bold, honest 
men to expose it. In the disbursement of the pub- 
lic money, great frauds were perpetrated by the 
commissioners and paymasters of the army. Mr. 
Pratt soon discovered that not a company received 
the full amount of rations provided by law. So 
far as his company was concerned, he was deter- 
mined to check the iniquity at once. Accordingly, 
on his next visit to the commissary, he took with 
him a few choice men, on whom he could rely in 
case of difficulty. After receiving the usual allow- 
ance of provisions, he demanded numerous other 
articles to complete the rations which he was enti- 
tled to draw. The commissary was utterly as- 
tounded at such assurance, and his astonishment 
was fully equal to that of the tyrants of the poor- 
house, when Oliver Twist, in the simplicity of his 
heart presented his little porringer and " asked for 

" I '11 tell you what !" thundered the commis- 
sary, with a scowl; "take what you have and be 

But he had to deal with a man not accustomed 
to " be off" without justice, and who was firm as 
a piece of his well-tanned sole leather. 

"All or none!" said Mr. Pratt; "no cheating 
soldiers, sir!" 

The commissary trembled with rage, and if looks 
could have done it, the subject of this memoir 


would long ago have slept quietly in his mother 
earth — 

At his head a green grass turf, 
And at his feet a stone. 

But finally the peculating officer concluded to do 
justice, and the proper supply continued to be fur- 
nished as long as Mr. Pratt was steward, although 
his successor was unable to obtain it. 

In 1821 Mr. Pratt received a commission as cap- 
tain in the 5th regiment of artillery, which in 1823 
he resigned, on receiving the appointment of colo- 
nel in the 116th regiment of infantry of the state of 
New York. In this position he was prompt, ener- 
getic, and liberal — a good disciplinarian, and con- 
tributed much to the improvement of the corps to 
which he was attached. When in command of his 
company, he furnished a uniform for the whole, and 
being in want of a suitable field piece, he applied 
to the governor, and succeeded in obtaining one of 
the twelve remaining to be disposed of, though 
there were thirty applicants before him. He pro- 
posed to Governor Clinton, that he would mount 
the cannon at his own expense. "No, no, young 
man," said the governor, "you have already done 
enough without that." He provided the regiment 
under his command with all then: music, at an ex- 
pense of some $250. 

In 1826 he resigned this latter commission, hav- 
ing no great predilection for a military life, although 
whilst engaged in it he displayed his usual energy, 
doing nothing by halves. 

At the close of his military career, in order to gra- 
tify his regiment, he gave one hundred and twenty- 
five pounds of powder for the purpose of re-enacting 
the memorable battle of Lodi, he himself taking an 
active part in it. The place selected was a bridge 
at Windham, admirably calculated for the ma- 
nouvres. The "battle" went off with great eclat, 


to the great satisfaction of the soldiers, and the 
delight of the thousands of spectators who had as- 
sembled from all parts of the county. On another 
occasion, when a sham battle was fought at Lex- 
ington Heights, Col. Pratt ordered a captain of 
infantry to march round the meeting house and 
open a fire upon the artillery. 

"But, Colonel," said the latter, "shall I not be 
in danger?" 

" O no," replied the Colonel, " if you are, you can 
jump up behind me." 

With this assurance of safety, the captain drew 
his sword, sprang like a tiger from his jungle, and 
giving the word to his men, a more murderous fire 
was opened upon the unfortunate artillery, than 
has ever been recorded in the annals of "infantry." 
Nothing but the most devoted patriotism could 
have ^enabled the "enemy" to withstand it. 

In the winter of 1839, Col. Pratt and his elder 
brother, planned an adventure to Canada, of which 
the Colonel took charge. He was accompanied by 
three of his neighbors, with an equal number of 
teams, laden with leather, harness, and dried ap- 
ples. They went to Kingston, and from thence to 
Bellville, where they remained until spring. While 
at Kingston, their landlord picked a quarrel with 
them, and one of the party, who had drank too 
much, was determined to fight him. A crowd of 
town loafers, who had gathered round, showed 
by their conduct that the first blow would be the 
signal for a general attack, in which case the small 
company of Americans would have been overpow- 
ered by numbers, and plundered of their goods, be- 
sides risking their lives. Col. Pratt saw at once 
the danger of their situation, and, entrusting their 
belligerent comrade with the trunk which con- 
tained all their money in silver, busied himself in 
getting the teams ready for a start. As was antici- 
pated, the trunk of specie kept the peace, for the 


holder could not fight without letting it go, which 
he dared not do, lest it should be stolen. By this 
quick sighted manouvre of the Colonel, the threat- 
ened collision was prevented and the property 
secured. When will nations remember that they 
cannot fight without endangering the safety of the 
"trunk of specie?" 

After disposing of his goods at Bellville, Colonel 
Pratt went with a couple of traders to Rice Lake, 
for the purpose of buying furs from the Indians. 
His companions took the usual Yankee notions, 
whilst he carried a knapsack well stored with 
bread, butter, and salted raw pork, a mitten full of 
silver dollars, and a bag of gold, sewed in a pocket 
inside his shirt, together with $2000 in bills. 

"At noon," said he in a letter to a friend, "we 
mounted on an old oak of enormous size, which 
had been lying there for many years, and which 
seemed like a patriarch of the forest. I made a 
dinner on raw pork, and bread and butter, and a 
good dinner it was, after having traveled through 
the snow since very early in the morning. After 
dinner we went due north, but towards evening we 
lost our way, and wandered about till night. We 
now struck up a fire in an old maple top, and 
supped upon a piece of pork, cooked upon the end 
of a stick, and washed down with cold tea. We 
next looked about for a lodging. Above was a 
clear cold sky, beneath was the clean white snow. 
I would willingly have given some of my gold 
eagles for a barn to sleep in. Making a virtue of 
necessity, I got together some pieces of bark, and 
laid them down upon the snow. I next broke up 
some bunches of maple twigs, (as there were none 
of my favorite hemlock boughs to keep off the wind 
and cold,) and laid them round the bark. Then 
taking my silver dollars for a pillow, drawing on 
my fur cap, and pulling the bearskin cape of my 
coat over my head, I went to sleep, and slept 


soundly until morning, suffering no inconvenience 
whatever. The next day we pursued our journey, 
wandering first one way and then another, until 
about one in the afternoon, when we discovered 
the Indian track, and the same night reached a 
hut. The squaw was making sugar, while John 
Snake, the Indian, was off after beaver. My com- 
panions, however, succeeded in purchasing some 
skins of the squaw. Their keg of whiskey was hid 
away, and they took only a small quantity with 
them, which was largely diluted with water. 
This they said was a necessary practice, for the 
squaw would sell but a few of the skins at a time, 
and required to be treated at each bargain; so that 
notwithstanding the weakness of the liquor, she 
soon became very drunk. This trading was all 
they were able to accomplish at that place, for 
when John Snake returned, having been unsuccess- 
ful in his hunt, he brought no furs." 

This expedition, although upon the whole suc- 
cessful, effectually cured Col. Pratt of any desire 
for further trade with the Indians. On his return 
he came by the way of Utica, having on his old 
bearskin great coat, the remainder of his apparel 
being equally shabby, and very much worn. His 
money, in gold and silver, was enclosed in a bag, 
and made up like a knapsack. On the arrival of 
the stage at the principal hotel in Albany, the land- 
lord came out, and to the passengers generally, was 
extremely polite, asking them "how they did?" — 
"what he could do for them?" — "what they would 
have ?" etc. But when our rough looking traveler 
alighted, "mine host" eyed him askance. There 
was no " how d'ye do ?" for a poorly clad customer. 
So Col. Pratt took his bag of money under his arm, 
and, uninvited, proceeded to the bar room, whilst 
the landlord was waiting upon the gentlemen into 
the parlor. On his reappearance, the Colonel in- 
quired if he could be accommodated with lodging, 


as he was desirous of going down the river by 
the boat in the morning. 

" I suppose you can," was the gruff reply, the 
speaker no doubt wondering at the presumption of 
such a meanly dressed man, in thus daring to ob- 
trude himself among " his betters," at the " first 
hotel," or perhaps thinking of the wise regulations 
of a certain eating house in London, where the 
knives and forks are chained to the table. 

" Can I have supper?" was the next question. 

In a low growl, the answer came, " I suppose 
you can." 

Col. Pratt having previously placed his knapsack 
in the bar, called the attention of the landlord to it, 
and requested that it might be placed out of sight. 

"Where is it, and what is it?" was the snappish 

This was very soon explained, and the landlord, 
on lifting the heavy bag of money, became suddenly 
transformed into Chesterfield himself, and so bur- 
dened the Colonel with his politeness, that the next 
morning he found it very difficult to get away. 
This anecdote has been frequently related by the 
Colonel, with perfect good feeling toward the land- 
lord, as he did what many others, who believe that 
"the coat makes the man," would have done under 
similar circumstances. "But," says the Colonel, 
" it taught me that if I had money I had friends." 

Arriving at CatskilL on his way home, he was 
asked by Mr. Hall, the cashier of the bank, if he 
had heard from home. " No," was the reply. 

" Your tannery is burnt to the ground," said the 

This was a heavy loss, and one which would 
have effectually discouraged a less energetic man ; 
but Col. Pratt observed, "Well, thank God, with 
industry, economy, and good health, we can build 
another;" which he and his brother accordingly 
did, on a much more approved plan. How many 


would have sat down in despair, saying, "it is of 
ao use striving for I am born to bad luck" — instead 
of adopting the motto which solves the problem of 
heroes — "Press on." 

Col. Pratt, in connection with his brother, car- 
ried on his business at Lexington, until 1824, when, 
determining upon seeking a larger field of opera- 
tions in manufacturing, he closed his business at 
that place, purchased the tract and water power 
now included in the village which bears his name, 
and commenced his operations. The forest on 
either hand, to the very tops of mountains, was a 
dense growth of hemlock, adapted to his purposes ; 
communication was easy with New York, and he 
at once saw that here was the spot for him to es- 
tablish a mammoth tannery. He lost no time in 
commencing operations, and his labors were crown- 
ed with the most complete success. His establish- 
ment soon gave employment in various ways to 
more than 200 men, to all of whom he gave encou- 
ragement to settle around him. His tannery was 
500 feet long, containing over 300 vats, or about 
46,000 cubic feet of room for tanning operations; 
requiring a consumption annually of 1,500 cords 
of wood, and 6,000 cords of hemlock bark, in the 
manufacture of 60,000 sides of sole leather, which 
he annually sent to market — or, say more than a 
million of sides in the last twenty years — employ- 
ing a capital of over $250,000 a year, without a 
single litigated lawsuit. 

The plan he adopted to avoid litigation, deserves 
general imitation. It was as follows: 

For many years it has been the practice of the 
best newspapers of the principal cities to publish 
brief notices of the decisions of the courts. These 
notices Col. Pratt has always been careful to pre- 
serve, and he has a large book filled with them, 
and so arranged that he can easily refer to them. 
By daily reading, he thus acquired a sufficient 


knowledge of the law, to enable him to steer cleai 
of the shoals and quicksands upon which so many 
have been wrecked. From these memoranda he 
discovered one fact, which if duly considered, would 
tend much to deter young men from encountering 
the glorious uncertainty of the law. It is "that of 
the whole number of reported cases which had 
been affirmed or reversed by the Supreme Court of 
the United States, up to 1830, four hundred and 
twenty-five had been affirmed, and three hundred 
and twenty nine reversed — the affirmations being 
little more than one-half. 

As the tide of prosperous business poured in upon 
him, his friends and neighbors also flourished. The 
town was rapidly settled and improved; streets 
were laid out, and ornamental trees planted by his 
own hands; schools were established, churches 
built, and houses and stores multiplied, until the 
village has become one of the most pleasant and 
flourishing settlements in the region of the Cats- 
kills. More than one hundred of the houses were 
erected by Col. Pratt himself; and his munificence 
is seen in all the churches and public buildings in 
the place, of which more than one-third the cost 
was defrayed from his own pocket. 

In the disposal of his lands he never speculated 
upon the wants of the poor, having always sold his 
spare lots at a reasonable price ; and he has furnish- 
ed many with a house which their unaided exer- 
tions could never have procured. He was, how- 
ever, always careful to dispose of no lot, but on the 
express condition, that no ardent spirits should be 
sold on the premises. 

The excellent quality of the manufacture of Col. 
Pratt — a result which he attained by the adoption 
of every useful improvement in the art of tanning 
leather — secured him a never failing market. In 
1837, he and his partner (Col. Watson) received the 
Silver Medal, of the New York Institute, for the 


^^^^^^TJP^r^-r- 'r?.-- ; m.-v.-r : -- ^-*— ---^fipriT^i 


best specimen of hemlock tanned sole leather — the 
first medal ever awarded for that manufacture. In 
1839, he was elected a member of the American 
Institute; and in 1845, at the New York State Fair, 
tie was awarded the first premium in a Diploma. 
He glories in the name of a mechanic, and is proud 
to acknowledge the quiet and laborious occupation, 
in the diligent pursuit of which he has been emi- 
nently successful, and has earned a name and sta- 
tion among his countrymen. 

In 1840, retiring in part from the more active 
business of his manufactory, Mr. Pratt employed a 
portion of his capital in the establishment of a bank 
at Prattsville, under the free banking law of the 
State of New York. A capital of $100,000, secured 
in six per cent, stocks of the United States, and of 
the State of New York, is thus employed, and has 
been found extremely useful in that mountainous 
region, its business averaging nearly $1,000,000 an- 
nually. It is one of the few institutions, the bills 
of which are kept actually at par by redemption in 
New York city. 

Col. Pratt's first step in public life may be said 
to have been his election on the democratic ticket, 
for the State of New York, as an elector of Presi- 
dent and Vice-President of the United States, in 
November, 1836. He recorded his vote, with 
those of his brother State electors, for his neighbor 
and friend, Mr. Van Buren. 

In November, 1836, he was elected one of the 
Representatives in Congress for the eighth Congres- 
sional district, in the State of New York. He suc- 
ceeded in this election, by a majority of twenty- 
seven hundred votes, the largest majority, we be- 
lieve, that was ever given in that district. He 
received very nearly the unanimous vote of the 
town of Prattsville. 

Of his services in Congress, says the Review, 
it is sufficient to say that, in that body, he earned 


the character of a Working Man ; that he gained 
the respect of all parties in Washington; and in 
his case was demonstrated the advantages which 
arise from sending men of practical knowledge and 
business habits to Congress; and how much that is 
really important to the people, may be performed 
by one such man, who is more desirous to act than 
to speak, and who cares less for the reputation of 
perfecting a useful measure, than the solid satisfac- 
tion of feeling that he has been instrumental in its 

In July, 1738, Col. Pratt published an address to 
his constituents, declining a reelection to Congress. 
In 1342, he yielded to their request, and was cho- 
sen to represent the eleventh Congressional district, 
composed of the counties of Greene and Columbia, 
On resuming his seat in Congress, his inquiry was 
not, " How can I make the most noise, or gain the 
greatest eclat ?" — but, " How can I do the most 
work?" He never undertook to "define his posi- 
tion," or to make a speech for Buncombe. He 
made, -indeed, few speeches, and they were com- 
monly brief and plain statements of facts, which 
he knew could be relied upon. The value in any 
public body of men, who are patient and laborious 
in their search after truth, is beyond all estimate. 
In the words of one of our ablest political journals, 
it may truly be said, that " Colonel Pratt devoted 
himself to the utility of legislation. He has given 
his attention to political objects designed to advance 
science, the arts, commercial intercourse, the dis- 
semination of useful knowledge, and to facilitate 
the practicable labors of the departments. Few 
men have accomplished as much in these import- 
ant respects as he has done in the course of four 
years congressional service; and he has laid the 
foundations of good that will mature gradually 
hereafter, as views and suggestions, truly enlight- 
ened, and worthy a truly republican people and 


government, shall be brought to the popular consi- 
deration and action of Congress." 

Representing a portion of the great agricultural 
State of New York — from his youth taught to look 
jpon the farming interest as the paramount pursuit 
in this country, and coming from a district where a 
very large proportion of the inhabitants find their 
profession, their pleasures and their profits in the 
noble employment of cultivating the soil, it must 
be supposed that the practical and utilitarian mind 
of Col. Pratt would dedicate a due share of its at- 
tention to the interests of agriculture. He origin- 
ated the proposition, which was finally adopted by 
Congress, providing for the introduction, through 
our consuls and national vessels, of foreign seeds 
and plants, and for their gratuitous distribution to 
all portions of the country, through the medium of 
the patent office. The beneficial effects of this 
measure have already begun to be appreciated. 

In 1842, Col. Pratt delivered an address before 
the Mechanics' Institute at Catskill, replete with 
excellent sentiments; and in 1845, at the great fair 
of the Greene County Agricultural Society, at Cairo, 
he delivered a sound, practical address, which was 
extensively copied by the press. Few productions 
of the kind ever received more general commenda- 
tion, or a wider circulation. 

The personal habits of Col. Pratt, his attachment 
to the pleasures of home, and to the enjoyment of 
the natural delights of the family fireside, may be 
learned from the following particulars of his do- 
mestic life. 

His first wife was Miss Beda Dickerman, of 
Hampden, Ct., to whom he was united Oct. 18th, 
1818. She was a lovely woman, of amiable temper 
and true piety; but, the winter proving too severe 
for her constitution, she died of consumption, on 
the 19th of April, 1819. 


Oh ! mighty death — in such 
We must not build our hopes — in form of clay 

We treasure up too much; 
For 'tis a fearful thing to love what thou may'st touch. 

After four years of mourning, he solaced his grief 
by taking the hand of her sister, who had won his 
affection by the resemblance she bore, in her vir- 
tues and beauty, to the deceased. But again was 
his dwelling turned into mourning by the entrance 
of the insidious prime minister of death, consump- 
tion, and his second wife died, at Lexington, 
Greene county, on the 22d of April, 1826, in the 
31st year of her age. 

Col. Pratt was united to his third wife, Miss Abi- 
gail P. Watson, daughter of Wheeler Watson, Esq., 
on the 12th of October, 1827. He now looked for- 
ward to an old age, solaced by the wife of his 
youth; but a voice from the invisible world whis- 
pered " come away," and his companion entered 
the blessed land, where sorrow is unknown. Al- 
though bowed to the earth with this heavy trial, 
which he bore with Christian resignation, he felt 
grateful for the possession of children, upon whom 
he could rally and concentrate his affections — to- 
ward whom he had duties to perform- — and for 
whom it was a pleasure to live, and to exercise the 
energies of his mind. They furnished motives for 
continued industry and perseverance ; rendered life 
still a blessing, and the hopes of the father cast a 
ray of sunlight into the future. One of his promis- 
ing children, however, followed her mother to the 
grave a few months afterwards. The survivors, a 
son and an amiable daughter, are still spared, and 
furnish every hope that the latter years of their pa- 
rent may be crowned with the supreme joy of a 
father's heart, viz: the knowledge that his exam- 
ple, his care, and his anxieties, have not been 
wasted. May his fond wishes be fulfilled to the 


Col. Pratt entered into wedlock a fourth time, on 
the 16th of March, 1835, when he married Miss 
Mary E. Watson, a sister of his third wife. 

Alluding to his married life, in a letter to a friend, 
he says: " It has rarely fallen to the lot of man to 
say that he has had three of the best women for his 
wives, and that he is now living with the fourth, 
equally good. It may be most truly said of my de- 
ceased wives, that they were Christian companions, 
with whom I lived in the greatest conjugal happi- 
ness ; and of my present most amiable consort, that 
she is in every way worthy to succeed them in the 
affections of a devoted husband, and every way 
calculated to promote his happiness." 

From his youth to the present time, Col. Pratt 
has adhered to the good old rule, " early to bed and 
early to rise," always retiring by nine o'clock, and 
rising with the sun. The writer once heard him 
remark, that he never lost a single night's sleep in 
the course of his life. How many dreaming aspi- 
rants for wealth and honor are there, who can only 
speak of sunrise as an historical fact, never attested 
by their own observation ! 

The following incidents, selected from many 
others equally interesting, will serve to exhibit the 
character of the subject of our notice : 

When the destructive fire occurred at Hudson, in 
1844, reducing many families to great destitution 
and suffering, Col. Pratt immediately sent $200 for 
their relief. It was the first money received, and 
afforded another illustration of the maxim, that "he 
who gives soon, gives twice." 

In 1845, the Bible Society of Greene County fur 
nished a Bible to every family which did not pos 
sess one. The expense of this distribution, in his 
own town, was defrayed hy Col. Pratt, who also 
gave a large and handsome copy for the pulpit of 
each church. 

In the fall of 1845, as he was passing up the road 


from Prattsville to visit a neighbor, he was accosted 
by a lad who said he had traveled on foot from 
New York city, having gone there to assist a drover 
with a flock of sheep — that on reaching the city, 
his employer having made an unfortunate specula- 
tion, cruelly turned him adrift without a cent, to 
find his way home at Oneonta. The poor fellow 
said "he felt rather bad about it; but, upon the 
whole, as he had got along so far, he thought it 
was of no use to despond." Col. Pratt, desirous of 
encouraging the boy's resolution never to yield to 
despondency at any ill luck or injustice, gave him 
a check on his bank, for a sum of money. Having 
with him neither pen nor ink, the Colonel picked 
up a flat stone and scratched the check upon its 
surface. This being presented, was paid at the 
counter of the bank. 

He has often remarked, that although sometimes 
imposed upon by his acquaintances, he could gene- 
rally determine the trust-worthiness of a stranger at 
first sight. 

In 1843, soon after the establishment of his bank, 
a drover came along with about two hundred cat- 
tle. He entered the bank and asked for Col. Pratt. 
" There he is," replied the cashier. The drover 
then stated that he was short of money, and desired, 
although a stranger, to borrow $100, until he could 
drive his cattle to Westchester county, when he 
would remit the amount. 

" Let him have it, cashier," said Col. Pratt, " the 
man has a good countenance." 

" But," said the stranger, " you do not know my 
name " 

" We shall soon see that, when you sign the re- 
ceipt," was the reply, as Col. P. walked out to at- 
tend to other business. 

The honorable drover was Mr. Oscar Brown, of 
Westchester, who faithfully kept his word. 

It was always the custom of Col. Pratt to say to 


his workmen, "come on," instead of " go on;" in- 
variably taking upon himself those parts of the labor 
which were most disagreeable, and which required 
the greatest exposure. He has thus frequently 
stood in water all day, even in very severe wea- 
ther. His temperate habits and hardy frame pre- 
served his health unimpaired, amidst hardships 
which could have been borne but by few. At one 
time, during the building of a dam, a new hand, 
who had not yet entered into the spirit of the es- 
tablishment, exhibited so much indolence as to at- 
tract the Colonel's especial attention. After dinner 
the latter took a coffee pot, and with a most com- 
miserative look, said : 

"Here, my friend; perhaps you would like to 
take this coffee pot and catch grasshoppers, to feed 
my fish in the artificial pond yonder, rather than to 
work with the rest?" 

" Certainly, sir," said the drone, as he took 
the coffee pot, and, with the agility of a grasshopper, 
threw himself over the fence into an adjoining 
meadow, no doubt wondering why he had so soon 
become a favorite. 

Grasshopper No. 1 was soon caught and deposit- 
ed in the coffee pot, " for safe keeping, and other 
purposes." Grasshopper No. 2 soon followed ; but, 
as No. 2 went in. iSo. 1 jumped out; thus mimick- 
ing office holders under different administrations. 
But, nothing daunted, our hero performed wonder- 
ful feats of agility in seizing his prey, exhibiting the 
most surprising presence of mind in shutting down 
the lid of the pot just at the critical moment, catch- 
ing his prisoners " on the hip." He was not, how- 
ever always successful; and, after several consecu- 
tive vexatious mishaps, he sat down to repose on the 
laurels previously won. But, observing a very pe- 
culiar expression upon the faces of the workmen, a 
new idea entered his brain, and he quickly compre- 
hended the joke. In a great rage, he immediately 


arose, dashed the coffee pot to the ground, strode 
away with disdain, and made tracks to parts un- 
known. To " work or catch grasshoppers," has 
now become a proverb in the tannery. 

While in Congress, Col. Pratt having made some 
motion relative to the removal of the unsightly 
building in which the statue of Washington was 
immured, Mr. C. J. Ingersoll, in a vein of pleasant- 
ry, observed, "that the honorable chairman of the 
committee on public buildings would do well first 
to enclose the statue of the Indian lady, adjoining 
that of Columbus, the extreme scantiness of whose 
drapery had been severely commented upon by the 

Col. Pratt instantly replied, that so delicate a 
duty could with peculiar fitness be assigned to the 
gentleman himself, who, if rumor spoke correctly, 
was a great adept at " enclosing" the fair sex. 

At this happy retort, the house was convulsed 

with laughter, it being well known that the head 

of the committee on foreign affairs held it as a 

sacred duty to his country, and to himself, never to 

run away from the ladies, but on the contrary, when 

opportunity offered, 


To draw 
In one long kiss, their whole soul through 
Their Jips, as sunlight drinketh dew. 

On the face of the high rocks at the entrance of 
Prattsville, the eye of the stranger is attracted by 
several carved figures. Their origin is as follows: 

A stone cutter, seeking employment, called upon 
Col. Pratt, and proposed to cut upon the rock, a 
bust of the Colonel, together with views of the tan- 
nery, etc. Struck with the novelty of the idea, and 
being ever ready to encourage men willing to labor, 
the proposition was assented to, and how well the 
artist has succeeded is evident to every beholder. 
Some, ignorant of the peculiar circumstances of the 


case, have attributed vanity as the motive; but 
Col. Pratt had a more elevated object in view. He 
looked forward to the time when, from the rapid 
consumption of timber, the whole region will be 
left without a tree, and when the traveler, a centu- 
ry hence, will gaze with wonder upon an inscrip- 
tion that, in the middle of the nineteenth century, 
a million of hides of sole leather were tanned from 
bark gathered on the spot, by Zadock Pratt, in 
twenty years. 

Col. Pratt's services in Congress were eminent- 
ly practical. He was one of the earliest advo- 
cates of the cheap postage reform, moving a 
resolution to that effect in 1838; and the in- 
formation and statistics which he brought to bear 
upon the question, contributed in no small de- 
gree to the ultimate success of the measure. 
He submitted a valuable report on the improve- 
ment of the public grounds at Washington, to- 
gether with a beautiful design, by himself, for a 
national monument to Washington. He also advo- 
cated, with hearty zeal, the remission of the fine, 
paid by the late President Jackson. In both con- 
gresses of which he was a member, he was an 
earnest advocate of, and introduced the bill for the 
establishment of a branch mint in New York. 

The funds arising from the fees for patents, hav- 
ing accumulated to nearly $150,000, Col. Pratt in- 
troduced a resolution to provide for the publication 
and engraving of all the important inventions pa- 
tented at Washington, for the purpose of having 
copies of those works distributed to every town 
throughout the country, for the information of the 
people. Another resolution of great practical im- 
portance, introduced by Col. Pratt, and adopted by 
Congress, was that which requires an inventory of 
the public property in the hands of the public 
agents, to be made out once in two years, and re- 
ported to Congress. 


But the great measure to which he directed his 
attention, and urged upon that of Congress, was 
the establishment of a bureau of statistics. In Jan- 
uary, 1844, he moved the preparatory inquiry, 
through a select committee, and on the 8th of 
March, he presented a luminous report in favor of 
the establishment of the bureau, with a bill pre- 
scribing its organization and duties. The report 
was accompanied by several elaborate statistical 
tables, illustrating the plan of the proposed bureau, 
and the mode of rendering efficient and serviceable 
its operations. The public press throughout the 
Union was unanimous in favor of the plan, but the 
only step which Col. Pratt could induce Congress 
to take, was the transfer of three clerks for this ser- 
vice in connection with one of the bureaux of the 
treasury department. It is to be hoped, however, 
that his plan will be filled up in every particular, 
as its adoption would be the means of saving mil- 
lions to the country. 

In 1839, he presented a report upon the quality 
of the different materials used in the construction 
of the public buildings at Washington — urging the 
policy and eventual economy of substituting mar- 
ble or granite for the fragile and porous sandstone 
hitherto used. He demonstrated the propriety of 
the change with such force as to break down the 
opposition to the white marble, of which he propos- 
ed that the new General Post Office building 
should be constructed. "It is to the untiring per- 
severance of this gentleman," said the Washington 
Globe, " that we are mainly indebted for this beau- 
tiful specimen of the mechanic arts." And it may 
truly be said that this beautiful edifice, unsurpassed 
by any thing of the kind in the world, "is his monu- 

He presented the memorial of Asa Whitney, for 
aid in the construction of a national rail road, con- 
necting the Atlantic and Pacific. Col. Pratt be- 


lieved the plan, though a stupendous one, was fea- 
sible, and that, once completed and properly man- 
aged, the road would become the great highway of 
nations. (In a recent address to the people of the 
United States, on this subject, he has presented an 
array of facts in favor of the project, which cannot 
easily be controverted.) 

In February, 1845, he made a report on the ex- 
tension of American commerce to Japan and Co- 
rea. This interesting document was extensively 
copied by the press. He proposed that measures 
should be taken to effect commercial arrangements 
similar to those with China, with the empire of Ja- 
pan, containing a population of 50,000,000, and the 
kingdom of Corea, having nearly 20,000,000 of in- 
habitants — believing that it would result in great 
and permanent advantages to this country. 
' He introduced the bill, which has since become 
a law, providing for the appropriation of the Smith- 
sonian fund for improvement in agriculture, me- 
chanics and literature, so as to benefit the people of 
all the states. He was also one of the most effi- 
cient advocates of the bill providing for a dry dock 
at Brooklyn, New York. 

Many other important propositions were submit- 
ted by him, from time to time, which we have not 
space to enumerate. To do so, and justice to him, 
would require a volume. Some idea, however, of 
his indefatigable industry, while in Congress, may 
be formed from the fact, that the reports he made 
to the 28th Congress, cover more than a thousand 


As an illustration of the perseverance of Colonel 
Pratt, when he has any useful object in view, it 
may be mentioned, that when he urged his propo- 
sition for building anew the war and navy depart- 
ments, a southern member of distinguished ability 
and influence, who was opposed to the till, object- 
ed, because, he said, the committee had not sub- 


mined with their report the necessary plans and 
estimates. Col. Pratt reminded the gentleman, thai 
his objection must fall to the ground, as the plan 
and estimates were before the House; and taking 
them from the clerk's desk, he exhibited them to 
the objecting member; and the House, laughing at 
his objections, immediately passed the bill. 

Before the inauguration of Mr. Polk, Col. Pratt 
urged the House for an appropriation to provide 
new furniture for the President's mansion. The 
old curtains and furniture were worn and shabby. 
The House seemed reluctant to respond, when Col. 
Pratt took the responsibility of ordering a new suit 
of curtains to be furnished, telling the upholsterer 
that if Congress did not pay the bill he would. The 
thing was done. A few days after, a southern 
member complained of Col. Pratt, that he had acted 
without authority. The Colonel promptly replied 
that he had ordered the curtains on his own author- 
ity, and if objections were made from any quarter, 
he should pay for them from his own funds. And 
he would respectfully ask the objecting member if 
he had ever done as much for his country as that ? 
The laugh was turned upon the member, and the 
appropriation asked for was passed. 

At the close of the twenty-eighth Congress, Col. 
Pratt declined a reelection, in a very able address 
to his constituents, rendering a faithful account of 
his stewardship, and he is now engaged in the bu- 
siness of a banker, at Prattsville. He is still in the 
prime of life, enjoying unbroken health, and full of 
mental and bodily vigor, and has every prospect of 
living to achieve much good, as he possesses both 
the power and the will so to do. It maybe said of 
him, that the great object of his life has been prac- 
tical usefulness. He desired to leave the world 
something better than he found it. He has been 
eminently successful in all his enterprises — has pre- 
served a character spotless for integrity and honor — 


and in the relations of a neighbor and friend, has 
no superior. As a citizen, he has done much for 
the public good ; and, as a sound, practical, un- 
swerving advocate of the interests of the working 
classes, has never been found wanting. 

Adopting the language of the Review, we will 
add, that in selecting the founder of Pratt sville as 
the subject of this memoir, we have been actuated 
by a desire to do merited honor to that noble and 
enterprising spirit, which marks the characteristic 
of the man, and to spread before the rising genera- 
tion of our great and happy country, the benefits of 
his example. He stands out in bold relief, first 
making his fortune in active business, and then aid- 
ing in the councils of his country ; and of him it 
was said, none more useful. History is said to be 
philosophy teaching by example, and history, after 
all, is but the record of the deeds of men. The 
life of the hero, who has led conquering armies, 
may be written, and while every one may honor 
his bravery, not one in a million can hope to bene- 
fit from his example. The lives of statesmen, of 
poets and philosophers, what are they, unless they 
show something practical to the world, something 
true and tangible, adapted to the feelings and pur- 
suits of the masses? The life of one practical man 
like Franklin, Whitney, Slater, or Fulton, is 
worth more than all the Greek and Roman heroes 
that ever existed. These men became world-re- 
nowned, because they possessed, in an eminent de- 
gree, true energy, which, after all, is one of the 
chief elements of greatness. Their characters were 
self-formed — they rose from the masses, and as you 
follow them step by step, you see how they rose 
gradually to distinction; how the benefits they at 
last conferred on mankind grew up to perfection in 
the school of early trial, self-reliance, and never- 
failing energy. We have the best of authority for 
saying, that " Faith without Works is dead." If 


this be true in spiritual things, it is equally true in 
temporal. The world is full of visionaries, and ac- 
counts of visionary men ; but how little is written 
of the useful, practical, energetic, common-sense 

We regard the career of Zadock Pratt as in many 
respects a remarkable one, and therefore we have 
chosen him for the subject of this memoir. If it be 
asked, what has he done ? we might almost be dis- 
posed to answer by asking, what has he not done 
that the young men of the country should emulate ? 
If we look back to his youth, we see him toiling to 
aid his parents, then the faithful apprentice to a 
saddler, always diligent, trusty and true. We see 
him as he approached manhood, exhibiting the en- 
ergy and perseverance which have marked his cha- 
racter through life. As the business man, we see 
with what sterling integrity, admirable judgment 
and sagacity, always successful, from little to much, 
his affairs were conducted ; how he breasted him- 
self to every emergency, relying upon his own reso- 
lute heart and never idle hand, and the blessing of 
God, who has promised to help those who help 
themselves. We have seen him toiling for a com- 
petence, that he might do good, aiding others as he 
went along. We have seen with what courage he 
could endure the severest labors and exposures, 
even sleeping upon the snow, in pursuit of objects 
which he deemed essential to his prosperity and 
future usefulness. Conceiving the plan of estab- 
lishing a great tannery, we see him plunging into 
the deep forests on the Catskill, and choosing with 
«L admirable judgment, a location for his works which 
I Vis unrivalled, and can never again be equalled. 
This great establishment, under his auspices and 
persevering energy, we have seen grow up to be 
the largest of the kind in the world. Not only so, 
but we have seen this humble, pains-taking, labor- 
ing mechanic, almost with a magician's wand, 


erect a beautiful and prosperous town, in every 
public building and religious institution of which 
are seen the marks of his liberality. We have seen 
him building his hundred houses — the poor boy, 
whose first money was earned in picking huckle- 
berries upon the Catskill mountains. When he 
came to settle in the little valley where the village 
now stands, he told the few inhabitants that he 
came to live among them, not upon them. He has 
kept good his word. He has accumulated a large 
fortune, never by impeding, but rather aiding the 
course of others — never pulling down any man, and 
without ever making a single enemy of any honor- 
able man. 

It has been said, that one of the best governors 
who ever ruled in Massachusetts, was an unedu- 
cated man. He was practical and sound in his 
views ; knew the rights of the people, and respected 
them ; knew their wants, and as far as possible pro- 
vided for them. To him belongs the glory of first 
introducing free schools into that colony. 

Colonel Pratt, though enjoying no advantages of 
early education, is not insensible to its importance, 
and has always been the fast friend and liberal pa- 
tron of schools and institutions of learning, morality 
and religion. As a military man, we have seen 
him ever the friend of the soldier, and standing up 
nobly for the soldier's rights, and always the favor- 
ite of his company or regiment. We have seen 
him as the magistrate and supervisor, respected and 
honored, as the choice of the people for elector of 
President and Vice-President, and twice elected, 
with uncommon unanimity, to the Congress of the 
United States. In that great body, we have seen 
him nobly sustain his character of the working man, 
earning the respect of all parties, and having the 
most entire confidence of his own. In short, we 
have seen him fill with distinguished ability the 
three positions of Farmer, Banker, and L gislator 


"Well, then, may it be said of him, that no man did 
more for the good of the people; and when the 
judgment of the country shall be pronounced on 
his labors, it will be shown that no man originated 
so many great and important measures, whether 
we regard them in the light of economy, or of their 
ultimate effect upon the interests of legislation and 
of the people. We have seen that he labored in 
this great field, as he has always done, for the true 
interests of the farmer and mechanic, and for the 
working classes generally — proving himself equal to 
his business, and never above it, here or elsewhere. 
As the light and vivifying rays of the sun bring 
forth the early blossoms and rich fruits of the earth, 
scattering plenty and blessings around — so may it 
truly be said, that the honest man, who determines 
to be useful, and perseveres against whatever ob- 
stacle, giving employment to, and aiding the efforts 
of those around him, is the almoner of God's bounty 
to his fellow men. And it is no deterioration of the 
merits of the hero, the statesman, or the politician, 
to say, that the straight-forward useful man, upright, 
energetic, and liberal, is the noblest of them all — 
"an honest man's the noblest work of God." Such 
a man is Zadock Pratt; and his examples of in- 
dustry and fidelity, perseverance and public spirit, 
as well as generosity, we would recommend to the 
observation of the youth of our land. Of him it may 
be truly said, when we review his plain, unosten- 
tatious and honorable career — marked by liberality 
in thought and deed — that he is one of " Nature's 
Noblemen" — an architect of his own fortunes — 
and truly a Man of the People. 




1790, Oct. 30. Born at Stephentown, Rensselaer county. 
New York, and in his early days worked with his father at tan- 
ning, at Middleburgh, Scoharie county, N. Y. 

1799. Was at the funeral of Gen. Washington. 

1802. Removed to Windham, now Lexington, Greene county, 

1810. Apprenticed to Luther Hays, a saddler, in Durham. 

1811. Worked at his trade a year as a journeyman saddler, 
at $10 a month. 

1812. Commenced business on his own account in Lexing- 
ton, as a saddler, working from fourteen to sixteen hours a day. 
Here he commenced keeping an inventory, which he ever prac- 
ticed afterwards during life, making over $500 the first year, 
and never less a single year afterwards. 

1814. Adds merchandizing to his saddling, and, by diligence 
and the strictest economy, is successful. 

1814. Went as a soldier for the defence of New York city, 
then menaced by the fleets of the enemy ; while there, he re- 
sists the corruption of the commissary, and forces him to do 
justice to the soldiers. 

1815. Sells out his stock in trade, and is fortunate in escap- 
ing loss from the commercial revulsion which followed the 
peace ; forms a partnership with his two brothers in tanning. 

1818, Oct. 18. Is married to Miss Beda Dickerman, of 
Hampden, Conn., who died 19th April, 1819. 

1818, Dec. Makes a voyage by sea to Charleston, S. C. ; 
sea-sick going, and sea-sick coming; learnt enough of sea- 
faring life. 

1821, April 21. Unanimously chosen captain in the fifth 
regiment of New York State Artillery, and uniforms the com- 
pany at his own expense. 


1821. In the winter of this year makes an excursion to 
Canada, with leather, for the purchase of furs, during which he 
encamps in the woods upon the snow. Returning, is taken by 
a landlord at Albany to be a wanderer, not entitled to hospital- 
ity, on account of his worn and soiled garments, but who, on 
finding him possessed of a heavy bag of dollars, suddenly be- 
comes the pink of politeness to our traveller. 

1822. July 12. Is unanimously elected Colonel of the 116th 
regiment of infantry of the State of New York. 

1823. Is married to his second wife, Miss Esther Dicker- 
man, sister to his first wife ; she died 22d April, 1826. 

1824. Is appointed Justice of the Peace for the county of 

1824, Oct. 6. Received a vote of thanks from the Presby- 
tery at Lexington, for a donation of $100 in aid of the mission- 
ary cause. 

1825. Built his great tannery in the woods of Windham, 
where has since grown up under his auspices the flourishing 
village of Prattsville, now numbering 2000 inhabitants, as in- 
dustrious, prosperous and happy as any in the State — having 
now three churches, to the expense of each he contributed one- 
third, and one-half to the Academy. 

1825, Escorts Gen. Lafayette into Catskill. 

1826, Sept. 4. Resigns his commission as Colonel of Militia 
to the Governor of the State. 

1827, Oct. 12. Is married to his third wife, Miss Abigail 
P. Watson, daughter of Wheeler Watson, Esq., of Rensselaer. 
She died Feb. 5, 1834. 

1827. Is elected Supervisor of the town of Windham. 

1825 — 1835. This was the busy scene of life — from 35 to 
45 years of age — during which he accumulated a large portion 
of his wealth. 

1832. The town of Windham divided, and the westerly 
portion called Prattsville, after the name of the founder. 

1835, March 16. Married his fourth wife, Miss Mary E. 
Watson, sister of his third consort. 

1835. Receives the thanks of the Delaware Circuit for the 
donation of a lot of ground for the use of the Elder of that 

1836, March. Builds a bridge over Scoharie kill, 130 feet 
long, the snow three feet deep in the woods, in eleven days, 
without the use of ardent spirits. 

1836, Nov. Is elected a Representative in Congress from 


the Eighth Congressional District of New York. At the same 
election was chosen one of the Electors of President and Vice 
President from New York, and gave his vote for Van Buren 
and Johnson. 

1837, Sept. 4. Takes his seat in Congress at the extra 
session, called by Mr. Van Buren. 

1837, Sept. 4. Is appointed one of the standing committee 
on the militia. 

1837, Oct. Receives the silver medal of the New York In- 
stitute, being the first ever granted to a tanner, for the best 
specimen of hemlock-tanned sole leather. 

1837, Dec. 11. Is appointed one of the standing committee 
on public buildings and grounds. 

1838, March 11. Moved a resolution in favor of the reduc- 
tion of postage, thus originating a great and favorite measure, 
which he rejoiced to see accomplished, and which has proved 
of such vast benefit to the whole United States. 

1838, March 12. Presented the resolution of the State of 
New York, and submitted a resolution providing for procuring 
foreign seeds and plants, to be distributed gratuitously to the 
farmers of the United States, through the medium of the Patent 
Office, to benefit the farming interests. 

1838, July 4th. Publishes an address to his constituents, 
partially reviewing the proceedings in Congress, and declining 
a re-election. 

1839, Jan. 28. Moved a resolution of inquiry respecting 
the material of which the public buildings at Washington are 

1839, Feb. 25. Presented a report on the quality of the 
materials used in constructing the public buildings at Wash- 
ington, concluding with a resolution that the material hereafter 
used for that purpose, shall be of the hardest and most durable 
kind, either marble or granite. At the same time he submitted 
a plan and estimates for the new General Post-Office, and that 
building, the finest in Washington, has since been erected of 
marble, according to his plan, and is said to be the finest build- 
ing in the world. 

1839, March 1. Delivers a speech in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, on the subject of constructing a Dry Dock at Brook- 
lyn, full of valuable statistics, on commerce, navigation, imports, 
exports and bullion, for ten years. 

1839. Moved the bill for establishing a Branch Mint in the 
city of New York. 


1839, July 4. Delivers an oration at Prattsville. 

1839, Sept. Was elected a member of the American Insti- 

1839, Oct. 25. Offers five thousand dollars to endow an 
Academy in Prattsville, on condition that the like sum be raised 
by any Christian denomination. 

1842, Nov. Is chosen a Representative in Congress from 
the Eleventh Congressional District of New York. 

1842, Dec. 29. Delivers an address before the Mechanics' 
Society at Catskill, of which he was a member. 

1843, Establishes a Bank at Prattsville, with $100,000 
capital, wholly secured by 6 and 7 per cent, stocks of the 
United States and State of New York — its bills kept at par in 
the city of New York. 

1844, Jan. 3. Offers resolution providing for uniform annual 
returns of banks, suitable forms to be furnished by the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, in order that a more perfect system 
might be adopted for the benefit of the community. He offered 
a similar resolution 11th Jan., 1839. 

1844, Jan. 8. Moved an amendment to the resolution in 
favor of the remission of the fine upon Gen. Jackson, to place 
on record the fact, that fifteen out of seventeen millions of the 
inhabitants of the United States had so instructed their delega- 
tions in Congress. 

1844, Jan. 12. Gives notice of offering a bill for establish- 
ing a Branch Mint at New York ; same day, gave notice for bill 
amending naturalization laws, which were afterwards presented. 

1844, Jan. 17. Presented the resolutions of the Legislature 
of the State of New York to remit the fine of Gen. Jackson. 

1844, Jan. 29. Moved the appointment of a select com- 
mittee to inquire into the expediency of establishing a Bureau 
of Statistics and Commerce, in connection with the Secretary 
of the Treasury. Is appointed chairman of said committee. 

1844, Jan. Elected President of the Greene County Agri- 
cultural Society. 

1844, Feb. Was on board the Princeton at the time of the 
explosion of its great gun, when Messrs. Upshur, Gilmer, and 
others were killed — and was the first man who had nerve, and 
was collected enough to attend at once to the care of the unfor- 
tunate killed and wounded. 

^ 1844, March 7. Makes a report on the application of the 
citizens of Washington to have a clock furnished at the public 


1844, March 7. Makes a report on the situation, cost, &c, 
of the public buildings and grounds, and expenditures of the 
Presidential Mansion. 

1844, March 8. Submits a report as chairman of the select 
committee on the Bureau of Statistics and Commerce, with 
valuable tables, showing the loans and discounts of the banks, 
imports and exports, and balance of trade, for a series of years, 
of our government with other nations, illustrating the import- 
ance of the proposed measure, and concluding with a bill to 
provide for the collection of national statistics. 

1844, March 18. Moved resolution respecting care and 
management of the furnaces used to heat the halls and rooms 
of the Capitol. 

1844, April 12. Offers a joint resolution for the appropria- 
tion of the public ground for a National Monument. 

1844, April 12. Reported bill for an addition of a wing to 
the Patent Office. 

1844, April 12. Makes additional report on the plan sub- 
mitted by him for fire-proof buildings for the War and Navy 

1844, May 15. Moved joint resolution authorizing the 
transfer of certain clerks in the treasury department to perform 
the duties of the bureau of statistics, agreeably to the report of 
the select committee on that subject, which resolution was 

1844, May 24. Makes report, with plan and estimates, on 
the proposed change of the Hall and Library of the House of 

1844, May 25. Makes report on the expenditures in the 
District of Columbia, from the foundation of the government, 
showing an expenditure exceeding ten millions of dollars. 

1844, May 25. Makes report on the Monument Square, 
submitting a plan, diagram, and drawing for a National Monu- 
ment to Washington. 

1844, May 25. Moved joint resolution requiring an inven- 
tory once in two years, of all public property to be returned 
from all persons having any in charge, in order that public 
officers and legislators might have a more perfect knowledge of 
the, property in charge of the government. 

1844, May 25. Made report, accompanied with a joint re- 
solution providing for the laying out and fencing the Monument 

1844, June 5. Offers joint resolution providing for the mode 


of making returns of public property in possession of officers of 
the government. 

1844, June 7. Moved a joint resolution for the preparing 
and distribution of the national medals to the state libraries, 
colleges and academies. 

1844, June 7. Moved resolution providing that monuments 
hereafter erected to deceased members of Congress, should be 
constructed of marble instead of sandstone, heretofore used. 

1844, June 7. Moved a resolution directing topographical 
bureau to cause a plan of the city of Washington, and views 
of the capitol and public buildings to be engraved, and copies 
to be sent as presents by ministers and consuls, to foreign 
courts, translated into their languages. 

1844, June 15. Resolution adopted on his motion, provid- 
ing for the collection of statistics, on the plan of the bureau 
submitted in his report of the 8th of March. 

1844, June 17. Makes report on the errors in the sixth 

1844, August 29. The democratic convention in Greene 
county passed a vote of thanks to Col. Pratt for his eminent 
public services, and untiring devotion to the business of the 
present session of Congress, and especially in placing on record 
the fact that more than 14,000,000 of American freemen had 
instructed their representatives to vote for refunding to Gen. 
Jackson the fine imposed upon him while fighting for his coun- 
try at New Orleans. In establishing a Bureau of Statistics, 
which is of incalculable benefit to Legislation — to government 
in all its departments, and to the business men of the country. 
In causing a resolution to be passed, by which the inventions 
of our mechanics which are patented are to be lithographed 
and furnished to each town free of expense. For his admir- 
able taste in the construction of public buildings, in the laying 
out and disposition of the public grounds, and in the surpass- 
ingly beautiful monument to the memory of Washington. In 
the various and able reports from time to time submitted by 
him to that body, and finally in causing government like indi- 
viduals to take and keep an inventory of the property of the 

1844, December 4. Moved a resolution authorizing the sec 
retary of war. to loan marquees and tents to state agricultural 
societies for their fairs. 

1844, December 26. Introduced joint resolution providing 
for periodical renewals and greater security of bonds of public 


1844, December 31. Moved joint resolution providing for 
the selection of a site for the National Washington Monument. 

1844, Dec. 31. Makes report on the necessity of providing 
additional buildings for the accommodation of the War and 
Navy Departments. 

' 1845, January 10. Reports bill providing for the painting, 
repairing, &c, of the Presidential Mansion, and other public 

1845, Jan. 11. Received vote of thanks from the Washing- 
ton Monument Society, for his untiring exertions in their be- 
half, and for the plan and map by him submitted. 

1845, January 28. Offers joint resolution for the preserva- 
tion of flags, and other trophies taken in battle. 

1845, January 28. Makes report on national trophies, ac- 
companied with the above resolution. 

1845, January 28. Makes report with plans and drawings, 
and estimates for the War and Navy Department, accompanied 
with bill. 

1845, January 28. With introductory remarks, presents 
the memorial of Asa Whitney, on the importance of a National 
Railroad to the Pacific. 

1845, January 28. Submits reports on the ventilation of the 
Representatives' Hall, and to prevent the echo so much com- 
plained of by speakers. 

1845, February 7. Submits additional report on the im- 
portance of a statistical bureau, accompanied with a joint reso- 
lution for the establishment of the same. 

1845, February 15. Submits proposition for the extension 
of American commerce, and proposing a mission to Corea and 
Japan, a people of over seventy millions, with whom we have 
no communication, and whose ports our ships are not allowed to 

1845, February 19. Presents a memorial from forty-seven 
editors and authors in favor of placing magazines and periodi- 
cals on the same footing with newspapers as respects mail 
privileges, in furtherance of his plan of providing for a cheap 
and uniform postage. 

1845, February 21. Moved resolution for the appointment 
of three commissioners to investigate the public departments 
and bureaux at Washington, with a view to a better organiza- 
tion, and an equalization of duties and salaries of public officers. 

1845. Moved estimates and plan for erecting dwellings for 
the five heads of departments, opposite the Presidential Mansion. 


1845, February 25. Makes report on the statistics of the 
United States, the population, revenue, production, and show- 
ing the relative condition of the northern and southern states. 

1845, February 25. Makes a report on the national edifices 
at Washington. 

1845, February. That three Commissioners be appointed 
whose duty it shall be, during the recess of Congress, to ex- 
amine into all the departments in the various offices of govern- 
ment, with the view of remodelling said departments, for the 
purpose of equalizing salaries and duties. 

1845, February 26. Reports a bill for amendment of the 
naturalization laws. 

1845, February 27. Moved an amendment to the general 
appropriation bill, providing for the survey, under direction of 
the Secretary of War, of a rail road route from Lake Michigan 
to the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains, to Oregon. 

1845, February 28. Moved a bill respecting the Smithson- 
ian Institute, the substance of which has since become a law, 
providing that a portion of the income of the Smithsonian fund 
should be appropriated for the improvement of agriculture and 
the mechanic arts. 

1845, March 3. Makes report on the salaries of all the 
officers employed fit Washington, showing the amount received 
by each, and the states from which they were appointed. 

1845, March 3. Makes report on the duties upon imports 
and tonnage and revenue, by states, showing the amount col- 
lected each year, from the foundation of the government. 

1845, March 3. Makes report on a proposed new mode of 
taking the yeas and nays in the House, by machinery connected 
with the Speaker's table. 

1845, March 5. In an address to his constituents, review- 
ing his acts while in Congress, and giving an account of his 
stewardship, he declines a re-election to Congress. 

1845, June. Receives thanks of the Greene County Agri- 
cultural Society for a donation of $250, for the promotion of 
agriculture and the mechanic arts. 

1845, July 1. Is elected an honorary member of the Frank- 
lin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, (in the city of Phila- 
delphia,) for the promotion of the mechanic arts. 

1845, September 25. Delivers an address before the Greene 
County Agricultural Society, of which he was President. 

1845. Offers resolution providing for the engraving of 


patents, and their distribution to every town and county 
and public library in the United States, for the benefit of 
mechanics, to whom those inestimable plans are now like a 
sealed book. 

1845. Offers a resolution providing for the execution of 
busts, by native artists, of all the Presidents, to be placed in 
the Capitol. 

1845. Moves a bill providing for the establishment of the 
free banking system in the District of Columbia, similar to the 
free banking law of New York. 

1845. Offers a resolution calling on the secretary of state 
to furnish the statistics of Texas, pending her admission into 
the Union. 

1845. Is elected an honorary member of the Peithessophian 
Society of Rutgers College, New Jersey. 

1846. Received a similar honor from Middletown College, 

1846. Closed the concerns of his tannery at Prattsville, 
after tanning over a million sides of sole leather, using one 
hundred and fifty thousand cords of bark, from ten square 
miles of bark land, and clearing over five thousand acres, 
one thousand years of labor, and some $6,000,000 of money, 
without a litigated law-suit, or having a single side stolen. 

1846. Elected honorary member of the Louisiana State 
Agricultural and Mechanics' Association. 

1846. Is elected a corresponding member of the American 
Agricultural Association. 

1847, March. With a view of acquiring, from personal ob- 
servation, a practical knowledge of the peculiar institutions of 
the south, as compared with those of the north, makes a tour 
with his son, then a lad of eighteen, through the whole of the 
southern and south-western states. 

1847, August 28. Addresses a letter to the people of the 
United States, on the importance of a railroad across the con- 
tinent to the Pacific ocean. 

1847, September 23. Delivers an address at the dedication 
of the Spencertown Academy. 

1847, November 22. Receives thanks from Spencertown 
Academy, for a liberal donation. 

1847, November 27. Communication in answer to an inquiry 
of the American Institute, explaining the system of the Pratts- 


ville tannery, of its management, and the extent of its opera- 

1848, January 4. Delivers a lecture before the Mercantile 
Library Association of the city of Hudson. Subject : Mind 
your business. 

1848, January 4. At the annual meeting of the Greene 
County Agricultural Society, held at Cairo, it was — Resolved, 
That the thanks of the Greene Co. Agricultural Society be 
tendered to the Hon. Zadock Pratt, late President, for his 
valuable services and able superintendence of the affairs of the 
said society ; and also — Resolved, That the thanks of the said 
society be presented to Hon. Zadock Pratt for his liberal dona- 
tions in sustaining and carrying out the measures and objects 
of said society. 

1848, January 14. Received the thanks of the Greene Co. 
Baptist Missionary Society, for donation. 

1848. The American Biographical Sketch Book, containing 
the lives of 130 eminent citizens, with portraits, was dedicated 
by the Editor, Wm. Hunt, Esq., " To Zadock Pratt, the 
Friend of the Mechanic, and the Patron of all that is useful." 
This same year, " Scientific Agriculture, or the Elements of 
Chemistry, Botany, and Meteorology, applied to Practical 
Agriculture, by M. M. Rodgers, M. D.," was dedicated to 
Hon. Zadock Pratt. 

1848. Makes the third annual report to the N. Y. State 
Agricultural society, as president of the Greene County Agri- 
cultural Society, giving the geological, agricultural and com- 
mercial statistics of the county of Greene. 

1848, March 7. Is elected a corresponding member of the 
New York Historical Society. 

1848, July 23. Received the honorary degree of Master of 
Arts from Union College ; the first instance in this state of a 
similar honor conferred upon a self-taught mechanic. 

1849, January 2. Elected President of the Mechanics In- 
stitute of the city of New York. 

1849, January 16. Delivers an address on his inauguration 
as President of the Mechanics Institute, City Hall, N. York. 



Among the many remarkable men of this remark 
able age, no one seems to us more worthy of notice 
than the " Learned Blacksmith." 

Elihu Burritt, says Mary Howitt, is not merely 
remarkable for his knowledge of languages — a 
knowledge which is perfectly stupendous, and 
which having been acquired under circumstances 
which, at first sight, would seem to present insu- 
perable barriers to anything beyond the most ordi- 
nary acquirements, may naturally excite our sur- 
prise and admiration — but he is remarkable in a 
high moral degree ; and this it is, combined with 
his great learning, which entitles him to our love 
and reverence. His many-languaged head is wed- 
ded to a large and benevolent heart, every throb 
of which is a sentiment of brotherhood to all man- 
kind. Like an apostle of peace and good-will, he 
has come among us, with the clasped hands as his 
cognizance, as a teacher and promulgator of Christ's 
own doctrine of love. He has not read Homer and 
Virgil, and the Sagas of the North, and the Yedas 
of the East, to admire only, and to teach others to 
admire the strong-handed warrior, cutting his Avay 
to glory through prostrate and bleeding thousands: 
he has read only to learn more emphatically, that 
G-od made all men to be brethren ; and that Christ 
gave, as the sum total of his doctrines, that they 
should love one another. This is the end of all his 
reading and learning; and better, by far, to have 
learned thus, with hard hands and a swarthy brow, 
over the labors of his forge and hammer, than to 
have studied in easy universities, to have worn 
lawn and ermine, yet have garnered no expansive 
benevolence while he became a prodigy of learning. 


His family are described as possessing- his virtues. 
If any one in the town met with a misfortune, lost 
a limb, or became halt, or blind, or dumb, he be- 
came to this good family an uncle or an aunt. 
What a sermon might be preached from this text. 

Being the youngest of the five sons, it was the 
privilege of Elihu to remain at home with his pa- 
rents, and contribute to the support and comfort of 
their old age. Among the pleasantest reminiscen- 
ces of his earlier life are the exertions he made for 
this purpose. At sixteen he had arrived at the full 
stature and strength of man. He now united him- 
self with the congregational church in New Britain, 
under the pastoral charge of the Rev. Henry Jones; 
and is at the present time a member, in regular 
standing, of the same church, whose articles of 
faith are the same as those of the Independents in 
England. At this time his father's first and last 
illness commenced, which lasted for almost a year. 
During the whole of this time, this excellent son 
labored through the day in the field or forest, and 
then watched through half the night at the bedside 
of his father, that his mother might be enabled to 
take necessary rest. 

After his father's death he apprenticed himself to 
a blacksmith of the town; the only school educa- 
tion he had as yet received, being three months at 
a district school during the winter, before he was 
fifteen. Of far greater importance, however, than 
this scanty tuition, was the keen appetite for read- 
ing which kept his mind awake ; and which was 
doubtless stimulated by the difficulty he had in 
procuring books. 

Soon after the age of sixteen, and while working 
at his trade, he took up his residence with his 
brother Elijah, who had opened a school. By Eli- 
jah's advice, however, when his term of apprentice- 
ship had expired, and he was one and twenty, he 


laid aside his hammer, and became a student with 
his brother for one half-year. 

After this half year of study, in the spring, he 
found himself well versed in mathematics; he had 
gone through Virgil in Latin, and had read several 
French works; he was, therefore, well satisfied with 
himself, and returned again to the forge, determined 
to make up for lost time. To accomplish this tho- 
roughly, he engaged himself to do the work of two 
men, and thus received double wages. Severe as 
this labor was, and requiring fourteen hours of each 
day, he still found time to read a little of Virgil, 
and a few pages of French morning or evening. 
He at this time also first began to look into the 
Spanish, which, to his delight, he found he could 
read without much difficulty. During this summer 
he conceived the idea of making himself acquainted 
with Greek, 

With autumn came self-dissatisfaction. He saw 
again the intellectual world lying before him, like 
an undiscovered land; and again he resolved to 
sacrifice a whole winter to extend that knowledge 
which was so necessary to him. He left his fur- 
naces, therefore, and went to New Haven, ; not, as 
our readers may imagine, with the intention of en- 
tering Yale College, but with a vague sort of notion 
that the very atmosphere of that seat of learning 
would facilitate his progress. If, however, this did 
not much assist, it certainly did not retard him, for 
the intellectual labor of this winter seems perfectly 
miraculous. On arriving in the town he took lodg- 
ings at an inn, and commenced a course of study 
on the following plan, which we will give in his 
own words. 

" As soon as the man who attended to the fires 
had made one in the common sitting-room, which 
was at about half-past four in the morning, I arose, 
and studied German till breakfast, which was 
served at half-past seven. When the boarders 


were gone to their places of business I sat down to 
Homer's Illiad, without a note or comment to as- 
sist me, and with a Greek and Latin lexicon. A 
few minutes before the people came in to their 
dinners, I put away all my Greek and Latin, and 
began reading Italian, which was less calculated to 
attract the notice of the noisy men who at that 
hour thronged the room. After dinner I took a 
short walk, and then again sat down to Homer's 
Illiad, with a determination to master it without a 
master. The proudest moment of my life was 
when I had first possessed myself of the full mean- 
ing of the first fifteen lines of that noble work. I 
took a triumphal walk in celebration of that exploit. 
In the evening I read in the Spanish language until 
bed-time. I followed this course for two or three 
months, at the end of which time I had read about 
the whole of the Illiad in Greek, and made consi- 
derable progress in French, Italian, German and 

When winter was over he returned to New Britain 
to his trade. The fame of his learning had preced- 
ed him, and he was induced to undertake the ma- 
nagement of a grammar school in a neighboring 
town. After a year his health suffered from con- 
finement, and he was induced to give up his school. 

He then engaged himself as travelling agent to a 
manufacturing company in New Britain. This 
mode of life continued for twelve months, during 
which he made his first essay in original author- 
ship, in a story called "My Brother's Grave." Thus 
a new faculty was discovered, and ever after, the 
pen became a medium of communication between 
him and the public. 

His next change was to commence business on 
his own account in New Britain ; but unfortunately, 
this was just before the great commercial revulsion, 
which was felt not only in America, but also in 


England; and Burritt, like many another trader, was 
an unsuccessful man. 

His mind was now turned to the study of the 
oriental languages, but a difficulty soon arose from 
the want of books. To overcome this difficulty, he 
resolved to make a voyage to Europe, working his 
way across the Atlantic as a common sailor, or in 
any other capacity in which he could receive wages 
for the work of his hands. Boston was the nearest 
port, at the distance of a hundred and twenty miles, 
and to Boston he set out on foot. All his worldly 
wealth went with him ; his change of linen tied in 
a handkerchief, three dollars and an old silver 
watch in his pocket, which watch was of no use to 
him, as it did not go, and he could not afford to 
have it mended. His mother furnished him with 
gingerbread, and other light provision for the jour- 

Footsore and weary, after a travel of a hundred 
and twenty miles, he arrived at Boston to find that 
no vessel was sailing from that port. He learned, 
however, to his comfort, that an antiquarian library 
existed in the town of Worcester, which was forty 
miles distance ; and to that place he now resolved 
on going, determined to take work as a journey- 
man, and to gain access to the library. A feeling, 
however, of unwonted depression lay heavily on his 
mind; he was exhausted by bodily fatigue, lame, 
and reduced in finance to one dollar and the old 
watch. He limped along the streets of this city as 
he was about to leave it, feeling himself poor and 
weak, and mean, in comparison with the very walls 
of the houses, which, as he glanced up to them, 
looked to him, as he himself has been heard to say, 
like the walls of the New Jerusalem. When he 
reached Boston bridge on his way to Worcester, he 
was overtaken by a wagon which a boy was driving. 
On inquiry, he found that the boy was going to 
Worcester, and was willing to take him there as he 


requested. This was a great god-send to his weary 
frame, for it was forty miles to that town. 

Burritt very soon engaged himself as a journey- 
man blacksmith, at the low rate of twelve dollars a 
month, with board. A very short time sufficed to 
show him, that the antiquarian library of Worcester 
could be of little or no use to him; and this disco- 
very filled him with deep sorrow. The library was 
open to the public but a certain number of hours in 
the day, and these were the very hours when his 
duty as a journeyman smith confined him to the 
anvil. He continued, therefore, his Hebrew studies 
unassisted, as he best was able. Every moment 
which he could steal out of the twenty-four hours, 
was devoted to study. This severe labor of mind, 
as might be expected, produced serious effects on 
his health ; he suffered much from head aches, the 
characteristic remedy for which were two or three 
additional hours of hard forging, and a little less 
study. We will copy from his diary of this date, 
one week's work, as a specimen of the whole, and 
our readers may then judge of the gigantic labors 
of this Titan of learning. 

"Monday, June 13. — Headache ; 40 pages Cuvier's 
Theory of the Earth; 64 pages of French; 11 hours 

" Tuesday. — -65 lines Hebrew; 30 pages French; 
10 pages Cuvier's Theory; 8 lines Syriac; 10 lines 
Danish; 10 lines Bohemian; 9 lines Polish; 15 
names stars, 10 hours forging. 

"Wednesday. — 25 lines Hebrew; 50 pages of as- 
tronomy; 11 hours forging. 

" Thursday. — 55 lines Hebrew; 8 lines Syriac ; 11 
hours forging. 

"Friday. — Unwell; 12 hours forging. 

"Saturday. — Unwell; 50 pages Natural Philoso- 
phy; 10 hours forging. 

"Sunday. — Lesson for Bible class." 


So wore on the year of 1837. The next year he 
engaged himself to work by the piece, and was 
thus able to arrange his time so as to make the li- 
brary of use to him. Burritt had already studied the 
Ce]tic tongue, and with this an interesting circum- 
stance is connected; he found in the library a 
grammar and dictionary of the Celto-Breton tongue, 
which had been presented by the Royal Antiquarian 
Society of Paris. Suddenly it occurred to him that 
it would be a fine thing to write a letter in that 
language to the president of that society. In three 
months the language was mastered, and the letter 
duly forwarded to Paris, in August, 1838. 

About a year afterwards, a gentleman residing in 
Worcester, presented himself before him, as he was 
at work at the anvil, bearing in his hand a large 
packet addressed to him. This was from the Royal 
Antiquarian Society of Paris, containing a letter 
from the secretary, acknowledging, with honorable 
mention, his communication in the Celto-Breton 
tongue; and forwarding to him the Transactions of 
the Society, and many other interesting documents. 
Burritt declares this to be the most gratifying inci- 
dent that ever occurred to him connected with his 
studies. About the time of this remarkable letter, 
he commenced his studies of the various languages 
of the Scandinavian and Sclavonic field. 

He had begun to communicate, as we have al- 
ready said, with the public through his pen, and he 
now conceived that he might add to his small 
earnings by translations from various tongues, par- 
ticularly the German. He wrote, therefore, to a 
gentleman whom he thought could be helpful in 
this way, giving him a short history of his life and 
of his present views. This letter was sent to 
Governor Everett. Governor Everett read his letter 
at a public meeting. A great deal was said on the 
subject, and all at once he found himself, as he 
says, " laboring under notoriety." 


A few days afterwards, he received an invitation 
to go to Boston on a visit to his excellency. To 
this city, accordingly, he once more came. How 
different this time to the last ; then poor and foot- 
sore, and oppressed by a sense of his own nothing- 
ness — now on a visit to Governor Everett, by his 
own express desire ! 

Nothing could exceed the kindness with which 
he was received ; every offer was made him which 
could facilitate his studies; he was requested even 
to enter Harvard College ; many were the persons 
who generously came forward to assist him, and 
offer him every advantage in the prosecution of his 
studies ; but he preferred the old course ; there was 
a pleasure to him in it; he loved to feel that he was 
still of the ranks of the working man. Hear this, 
working men of America, and honor him for it. He 
was happy, he was proud to labor with his hands 
as you do ! He courteously declined the help prof- 
fered to him by the great and the wealthy, and 
stated that he thought he could make better pro- 
gress by pursuing his own course. 

He returned again to Worcester, applied to labor 
harder than ever, and commenced, in 1839, a month- 
ly periodical called the Literary Gemini, in English 
and French, designed principally for the students 
of the latter language. This was not a successful 
speculation to him, and after a year it was discon- 
tinued. His fame, however, by this time, had spread 
far and wide; and during the winter of 1840, he re- 
ceived invitations to lecture in various cities, which 
he accepted. In 1^41, finding his journeyman's 
wages inadequate to his requirings, he began to trade 
a little on his own account. He hired an anvil, 
which he set up in one corner of the shop, and 
worked here at over-time, in the making of garden- 
tools, which brought in a little extra money. AD 
went to assist in his favorite studies, and his life 
was happy. 


As may naturally be supposed, the press was 
anxious to obtain his aid, or the advantage of his 
name. He wrote accordingly; more particularly 
for the American Eclectic Review, which was intended 
to contain the literature of the world. For this 
work he translated several of the Icelandic Sagas, 
as well as a series of papers from the Samaritan, 
Aralic, and Hebrew. During the winter of 1842, 
he again lectured, among other places, at New York, 
Philadelphia, Baltimore, Albany, &c, where the 
fame of his acquirements, as well as admiration of 
his character, drew together large audiences. In 
the course of this season he lectured no less than 
sixty-eight times. In the spring he returned to his 
trade in Worcester, where he commenced the study 
of the Ethiopic, Persian, and Turkish languages. 

Thus passed his time for the next two years; in 
the winter lecturing — in the summer working and 
studying. After that time, in 1844, having saved a 
few hundred dollars, he commenced his paper, called 
The Christian Citizen; a paper portioned out in a 
systematic manner, and devoted to religion, peace, 
anti-slavery advocacy, education, and general in- 
formation. With regard to the subject of peace, we 
must state that, shortly before this time, his mind 
had taken a decided bent. Naturally there was a 
tendency in him, as every one must believe, to an 
admiration of the heroic. The vanquisher of diffi- 
culties, the victor in any sense, was to his feeling 
an object of respect and admiration. 

On the 16th of June, 1845, Burritt left America 
for England. He went out in the Hibernia, the 
same vessel which carried the news of the settle- 
ment of the Oregon question. At the very moment 
when he stepped on board, he heard the joyful 
tidings announced that there should be no war. 

For a year or two he had been agitating in hi? 
mind the scheme of a grand Peace League, which 
should be, to all questions of peace and free trade 


what the Anti-Corn-Law League had already been 
to that question. He wished that every one, of any 
land, who was willing to cooperate, should be 
members of it; that it should embrace all nations; 
that the very world should be its platform. The 
scheme is a grand one ; and it seems to him, on 
coming to England, that a conjuncture of favorable 
circumstances at that moment was propitious to its 
commencement. The idea was never absent from 
his mind, but even more suddenly than he expected 
did he bring it into operation. He was on his way 
to London, alone and on foot, when he came to the 
small town of Pershore, nine miles from Wor- 
cester, on the evening of July 29th. It was his in- 
tention to stay here for a day or two to write. 
Here he drew up the pledge which he intended 
to be signed by the members of the future League 
of Peace; he bought a little note book, into which he 
entered it. The same evening, a Mr. Conn invited 
him to drink tea with him and his friends. There 
were about twenty in number ; he spoke of the 
pledge, and read it to them, having first signed his 
own name to it; at once were added, as he himself 
has chronicled in this same little book, " the names 
of seventeen men of Pershore — good men and true." 
Thus commenced the league of universal brother- 
hood — -may it gather the whole world in one fra- 
ternal embrace ! 

Burritt has traveled already through many parts 
of England, meeting everywhere with a cordial 
welcome. At the same time the League of Peace 
progresses rapidly in America ; its numbers increase 
daily on both sides of the Atlantic, and thus shall 
two great countries be knit together. 

Mr. Burritt was born at New Britain, Connecti- 
cut. Dec. 8, 1811. He is in his 37th vear. 



Although the history of this eminently self-made 
man is familiar to all, a synopsis of it cannot be 
omitted in a work of this character. 

Martin Van Buren was born at Kinderhook, Co- 
lumbia county, New York, on the 5th of Decem- 
ber, 1782. He was the eldest son of Abraham Van 
Buren, a farmer of moderate means, and who was 
descended from one of those families "who at an 
early period in the history of this country, emigrat- 
ed from Holland, and settled in the ancient town 
of Kinderhook." He was a man of strong common 
sense, and distinguished for his pacific disposition. 
His wife, whose maiden name was Hoes, is said to 
have been a woman of amiable disposition, exem- 
plary piety, and more than ordinary sagacity. 

Martin, their son, at a very early age, exhibited 
signs of a superior understanding, but owing to 
the moderate property of his father, his opportuni- 
ties for early instruction were few. Even at that 
period he gave indications of what he afterwards 
became, as the following incident, related to the 
writer some years ago, by an aged relative of the 
family, will show. 

"Martin and I," said our informant, " when quite 
young lads, were accustomed to play together in a 
barn near our dwelling. On one occasion he lay 
on his back upon the barn floor for a considerable 
time, as if in deep study. What ails you, Martin? 
said I; whereupon he sat up, and slapping his 
thigh, said: 'I'll tell you what — from this time 
I'm determined to be something or nothing.'" 

It appears that he was remarkably fond of mis- 
chief, generally taking the lead in any boyish 
frolic. The writer has seen the tears roll down 



the cheeks of an old Dutchman named Younghans, 
as he would laughingly relate how " he used to 
chase that young Martin out of his orchard," and 
that how, " without shoes or stockings, the mis- 
chievous youngster would scamper over the fence 
like a squirrel." 

At the age of fourteen, with but very slender ac- 
quisitions, he commenced the study of law in the 
office of Francis Sylvester Esq., a respectable law- 
yer of Kinderhook, where he soon gave indications 
of no ordinary ability as a speaker and a reasoner. 
The last year of his preparatory studies was passed 
in the city of New York, under the superinten- 
dence of Mr. William P. Van Ness, a distinguished 
member of the bar. In November, 1803, in his 
twenty-first year, Mr. Van Buren was admitted an 
attorney of the Supreme Court of the State of New 
York; after which he commenced the practice of 
his profession in his native village. Here he con- 
tinued until his removal to Hudson, in 1808, in 
which place he remained until his final withdrawal 
from the bar, in 1828. 

In the thirtieth year of his age he became a state 
senator. In 1815 he was appointed attorney-gene- 
ral. In the spring of 1816 he was reelected to the 
state senate for a further period of four years. In 
1821 he took his seat in the United States senate. 
On the 1st of January, 1829, he became governor 
of the state of New York. In March, of the same 
year, he was appointed by President Jackson, secre- 
tary of state of the United States. In 1831, he 
went as minister to England; but in January, 1832, 
his nomination was rejected in the senate by the 
casting vote of the vice-president. On the 4th of 
March, 1833, he was inaugurated as vice-president, 
and on the 4th of March, 1837, the boy who, when 
lying on the barn floor, declared that " from that 
time he would be something or nothing," became 
President of the United States ! 


What an encouraging example does bis success 
present to the young men of the country ! Few 
are denied advantages of education fully equal to 
those which he possessed. But let them bear in 
mind that 

Not without toil is Fame's bright palace won; 
Or glory's race, with faltering footsteps won. 


This distinguished gentleman, the son of Martin 
Van Buren, ex-president of the United States, was 
born at Hudson, Columbia county, New York, on 
the 18th of February, 1810. He graduated with 
honor at Yale ColJege, New Haven, in September, 
1828. He studied law with the Hon. Benjamin F. 
Butler, first at Albany, and afterwards at Washing- 
ton city. He concluded his legal studies with the 
Hon. Aaron Vanderpoel. He is represented as 
having devoted himself with untiring zeal to his 
profession, and like his father, frequently in the 
stillness of the night "burying his whole soul in 
the researches of science, and at that propitious 
season, kneeling at the shrine of that jealous mis- 
tress which knows no rival." In July, 1831, he 
was admitted to the bar. In August of the same 
year, as one of the legation, he accompanied his 
father to London ; the latter going as Minister to 
England. During a few years absence, the subject 
of this notice embraced every opportunity of in- 
dulging his love of the sublime and beautiful — 
rambling among the ancient ruins of baronical 
grandeur, and visiting the feudal castles, venerable 
abbeys, and old English churches: 


As beautiful they stand, 
Those ancient altars of our father land ! 
Amid the pasture fields and dark green woods, 
Amid the mountains, clouds, and solitudes; 
By rivers broad, that rush into the sea, 

By little brooks, that with a lisping sound, 
Like playful children, run by copse and lea! 

Each in its little spot of holy ground, 
How beautiful they stand, 
Those old gray churches of our father land ! 

He also visited France, Switzerland, and Italy, 
traveling among the "fallen columns, crumbling 
walls, and ivied arches, and all the sad relics of the 
mighty race which once thronged upon the banks 
of the Tiber, and sported upon its golden waves." 

On the rejection of his father by the Senate, in 
1832, Mr. Van Buren returned with him to the 
United States. 

On the 22d of June, 1841, Mr. Van Buren was 
united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Vanderpoe], 
eldest daughter of the late James Vanderpoel, judge 
of the third circuit. But in this life shade and sun- 
shine alternately follow. Shortly after their mar- 
riage, his lady's health began to decline, and in the 
fall of 1843, with a view of restoring it, they visited 
the island of Madeira. The air was balmy, and 
the spirit of man glowed as if a new effusion of the 
elements of health had issued from the gates of 
heaven ; but the breeze, pure, delicious, and invigo- 
rating as it was, freshening to all the pulses of na- 
ture, came not to her with " healing power." After 
spending the winter there, they returned by the 
way of the West Indies, passing sometime in several 
of the West India Islands, particularly in Santa 
Croix, that isle of undying verdure, with its purple 
! hills, and sky of purest azure. The destroyer how- 
ever could not be eluded. He followed her over 
the deep blue ocean, over the lofty mountain, by 
the thundering cataract, and through forest, glade l,| 
and glen; and shortly after her return, in November, 


1844, the fatal dart was sped, and Mrs. Van Buren 
left the perishing things of earth for that " better 

Life is full of instruction. "If sorrow never 
visited man, he would spend his days in delicious 
dreams, until startled by the cold hand of death. 
The Creator seems to have designed that fallen hu- 
manity should be marked by vicissitude. The 
stream is broken by -obstacles that make music, and 
keep its waters pure; the crushed flower yields 
sweetest fragrance, and the rock rent discloses its 

In May, 1838, Mr. Van Buren visited England on 
professional business. The coronation of Queen 
Victoria in that year, drew to London a great con- 
course of English people, and foreigners of distinc- 
tion, and was the occasion of much festivity. As 
the son of the President of the United States he was 
invited very generally to the public and private par- 
ties; and the marked attention which he received 
from the nobility, and from the Queen herself, the 
particulars of which may be found in the papers of 
the day, were of a most flattering character. In 
October of that year, he started for America in the 
Liverpool, a new steamer on her first trip. The 
greatest confidence was placed in this vessel, as 

With foam before, and wind behind 

She rent the clinging sea, 
That flew before the roaring wind, 

Beneath her hissing lee. 

And for some days she went like a winged 
thing through the waters. But a tremendous gale 
was soon encountered ; and the ocean, rolling in all 
its vastness, appeared as if mocking the puny in- 
ventions of man. To proceed was impossible; and 
on the next day, having made but five hundred 
miles, and consumed half their fuel, they were 
compelled to put back and land in the Cove of 


The far advance of the season, and the unsatis- 
factory experiment of the steamer, together with a 
great desire to see Ireland, induced Mr. Van Buren 
to defer his return till the following spring. He 
spent the next two months in traveling over Ire- 
land, visiting Rillarny, Dublin, the Giant's Cause- 
way, Dunluce Castle, and almost every other place 
of note. The merchants of Belfast tendered him 
the honor of a public dinner, and every body in Ire- 
land treated him with the warm hearted hospitality 
peculiar to the "Gem of the Sea." From Cole- 
raine in Ireland, he passed over to Glasgow, and 
spent a month or more in Scotland, visiting Fin- 
gal's Cave, the " banks and braes" of her bonnie 
rivers, sundry places " famed in storie," and remain- 
ing a week or ten days in Edinburgh. Returning 
to London, he went from thence to Paris, where he 
passed a month with our then minister, General 
Cass; thence through France, Belgium and Hol- 
land, and back to London, from whence he return- 
ed to New York, by the Great Western, in May, 
1839, having passed a very agreeable twelve-month, 
and accomplished the business which carried him 
out. While in Europe, he had the good fortune to 
form the acquaintance, and enjoy the society, of 
most of the eminent men of the countries through 
which he passed. 

On the first Monday of February, 1845, Mr. Yan 
Buren was appointed attorney-general of the state 
of New York, for the term of three years. In this 
capacity he has been engaged in several important 
and laborious trials, such as that of Dr. Boughton, at 
Hudson, O' Conner and others, at Delhi, and when 
he had opposed to him some of the ablest counsel 
which could be procured. On those occasions the 
public press of both parties, gave him credit not 
only for his ability, but for his liberality towards 
the accused. In December, 1845, Mr. Van Buren 
argued a very important case in the supreme court, 


at Washington, having for his opponents Messrs. 
"Webster and Ogden. In this instance, he by no 
means lessened his reputation as a sound lawyer. 
He is not one of those who, from vanity, injure the 
cause they advocate, by an ill-timed show of elo- 
quence. So far as the writer has had an opportu- 
nity of judging, he appears to act upon the advice 
of an eminent jurist : 

Whene'er you- speak, remember every cause 

Stands not on eloquence, but stands on laws; 

Begin with dignity), expound with grace, 

Each ground of reasoning in its proper place; 

Let order reign throughout — each topic touch, 

Nor urge its power too little nor too much ; 

Give each strong thought its most attractive view, 

In diction clear, and yet severely true. 

And as the arguments in splendor grow, 

Let each reflect its light on all below ; 

When to the close arrived, make no delays, 

By petty flourishes or verbal plays, 

But sum the whole, in one deep, solemn strain, 

Like a strong current hastening to the main. 

In 1845, Mr. Van Buren delivered, at Albany, an 
address upon the death of the late President Jack- 
son, and which was published, among others of a 
similar character. 

From 1840 to the present time, Mr. Van Buren has 
always been an active politician, frequently address- 
ing public meetings. On such occasions, where the 
powers of an orator have full scope, he has shown 
himself a ready debater, skilfully seizing the strong 
points of his adversary, and disarming them of 
their force by keen satirical strokes. He speaks 
fluently and cogently, and his style is clear and 
classical. And although he has yet to acquire that 
remarkable control of himself for which his father 
is so distinguished, and which few other men pos- 
sess, the political opponents of Mr. Van Buren will 
readily admit, that he is a man of decided talent 
and handsome acquisitions. 



It is four hundred years since John Faust and 
Peter Schceffer commenced, in the famous city of 
Mentz upon the Rhine, the first edition of the Bible 
that was made with types. The book was finished 
in 1450; and soon afterward, copies of it were sold 
in the market of Paris at six hundred crowns each. 
Doubtless, if it could be compared with the Illus- 
trated Bible of Harper & Brothers, it would be found 
as much below it in accuracy and beauty of manu- 
facture, as it was superior to it in costliness; and 
six hundred crowns would now purchase at their 
establishment a better library than the richest 
princes could afford in the fifteenth century. Ars 
artium preservatrix is engraved upon the monument 
to the koster of St. Bavans at Haerlem ; but print- 
ing is more than the preserver of arts; it is the 
handmaiden of universal progress, to which we owe 
all the light and liberty of our time and country ; 
and it has so improved with the ages as to supply 
the demands it has created. When James Harper 
and Thurlow Weed worked together in the office 
of Jonathan Seymour, some thirty years ago, two 
hundred and fifty impressions only could be pro- 
duced in an hour; but the Adams press, in a few 
years, made it possible to reach a thousand; the 
double cylinder Napier in 1830, three thousand; 
and the splendid invention of Mr. Hoe in 1847, full 
twelve thousand sheets in the same time, each four 
times the size of those printed by Messrs. Weed and 
Harper in the first quarter of this nineteenth cen- 
tury. It was a great accomplishment for the labo- 
rious monk of 1447 to produce a missal in fair 
characters in a month; but every day there are 
made in Cliff street more books than the world then 


produced in a year. This advance and activity in 
the civilizing art has been mainly caused by the 
application of the first order of practical understand- 
ings to the business of publishing. James Harper 
is the head of the largest publishing house in 
America, perhaps the largest in the world. To the 
reading part of men, by the Ganges and the Ama- 
zon, as well as by the Mississippi and the Hudson, 
the style of his house is familiar. The brothers, of 
whom he is the eldest, have made themselves rich, 
but it is a law of Providence, that whoso worketh 
for himself wisely, worketh for mankind ; and by 
their energetic and intelligent devotion to business, 
they have helped on the race with their own for- 
tunes. James Harper has been honored by his fel- 
low citizens; but it is at least questionable whether 
any other individual of the state, if good accomplished 
were the measure of popular favor, would stand 
higher than the late mayor of our great metropolis. 

The family of Mr. Harper was eminently respect- 
able in England. His grandfather, a man of educa- 
tion, strong sense, and integrity, came to this coun- 
try before the revolution, and after passing some 
time in the business of teaching, settled as a farmer 
at Newtown, on Long Island, where both the pa- 
rents of the subject of this notice were born. His 
father, a fine-looking old gentleman, with a ruddy 
face, and an eye full of intelligence, who has never 
been ill a day in his life, is now more than eighty 
years of age, and lives on his farm near the city, 
constantly visiting and visited by his children, none 
of whom ever cost him a blush or a regret. 

James Harper was born in 1795, and when about 
fifteen years of age commenced his apprenticeship 
at the printing business in the house of Paul & 
Thomas, at the corner of Water street and Burling 
slip, in the city of New York, where he remained 
six years, in the diligent performance of his duties; 
acquiring a perfect mastery of his art, and the re- 



spect and confidence of all with whom he became 
acquainted, by his industry, intelligence, and up- 
right character. A buoyancy of spirit, a natural 
humor, free from the asperities common to the pro- 
fessed wit, made him a favorite with the young, 
while his practical understanding and unostenta- 
tious piety caused the middle-aged and old to regard 
him as a youth of promise; and those who have 
had the pleasure of his acquaintance later in life, 
will long remember his many pointed yet good- 
natured inuendoes, which show that he retains still 
all his original characteristics. 

The example of James led his younger brother, 
John, to learn the same business; and in 1816 they 
determined, with some assistance from their father, 
to establish a printing house on their own account. 
With two Ramage presses and a few fonts of type, 
they commenced their career as master printers, in 
Dover street ; and although there was for some time 
but slight prospect of success, their known industry, 
skill, and force of character — as in the case of their 
illustrious exemplar, Franklin — attracted attention. 
The first book they printed was Seneca's Morals, for 
Evart Duyckinck, then a leading publisher of the 
city; ffnd their business so increased, that in 1817 
they removed to a larger establishment in Fulton 
street, where they took as apprentices their two 
younger brothers, and commenced publishing for 
themselves, by issuing an edition of Locke on the 
Human Understanding. The rapid enlargement 
of their business next led them to 189 Pearl street; 
then to 230 Pearl street, and in 1825 to 82 Cliff 
street, where they erected a large printing house, to 
which they have from time to time made great ad- 
ditions, and where they have now remained nearly 
a quarter of a century. Previous to their last re- 
moval, they took their brothers into partnership, 
Joseph Wesley in 1820, and Fletcher in 1823. They 
have since added to printing and publishing, type- 


founding, stereotyping, and binding; so that now 
they carry on under their own roofs all the branches 
of the book manufacture. 

The limits of this sketch will not admit of any 
detailed account of their operations. We have men- 
tioned the fact of their being the largest of contem- 
porary publishers; and it will need little confirma- 
tion beyond a glance at the descriptive catalogue 
of their publications, compiled by Mr. Saunders in 
1847, which makes a closely printed octavo volume 
of 160 pages. The cost of their pictorial edition of 
the Bible was not less than $500,000; of their illus- 
trated Shakspeare, $100,000; and the publication 
of either of the great Encyclopedias of Anthon, 
Brande, Cooper, Copeland, McCulloch, Smith, or 
Webster, would alone have exhausted the energies 
of a common house; but they have issued not only 
all of these, but the complete works of nearly all 
the great classical authors of our language — Shak- 
speare, Massinger, Addison, Dryden, Johnson,** and 
Burke ; the historians, Plutarch, Livy, Rollin, Gib- 
bon, Robertson, Hallam, Russell, Mosheim, Alison, 
Thirlwall; and, indeed, the master works of genius, 
reflection, and observation, in nearly every depart- 
ment of letters that has been invaded by the human 

It has sometimes been said that this great house 
is a manufacturing rather than a publishing one — 
meaning that they have done comparatively little 
in original literature — but the opinion is most erro- 
neous ; no house on this continent has paid so much 
to authors, as will be evident when it is remembered 
that they are the publishers of Prescott and Sparks, 
of Webster and Anthon, of Stephens and Olin, of 
Mrs. Sigourney and Mrs. Sedgwick, of Durbin, Fisk, 
Upham, Paulding, Simms, and, to a greater or less 
extent, of almost every writer in science, or histori- 
cal, metaphysical, romantic, or general literature, 
that has been contemporary with them in America. 


The enormous extent of their business may be 
judged of by the fact, that their issues have amount- 
ed in a single year to between two and three mil- 
lions of volumes of various works — their weekly 
expenditures to from four to five thousand dollars — 
and the number of their employees to from four to 
five hundred persons. 

We have spoken of the history of the house, be- 
cause James Harper's life has been in so eminent 
a degree identified with it as the senior and most 
active partner. 

Bat James Harper is a man of original, strongly 
marked, and elevated character. His quick appre- 
hension and close observation; his travels in foreign 
countries, (in which his wife and son accompanied 
him, as well as his intimate friend, the lamented 
and distinguished President Fisk, of the Wesleyan 
university,) and his long and familiar acquaintance 
with the most distinguished men of letters, with 
whom he has been brought in contact in the course 
of his business experience, added to his life-long, 
high morality, and consistent piety, render him one 
of the strong pillars and conservators in society. 
And it is a happy illustration of that prescience of 
the popular mind, which detects moral and intel- 
lectual worth by a sort of intuition, that the great 
qualities of a person so unobtrusive, who never 
mingled at all in the storms of public controversies, 
should have been felt and acknowledged in so sig- 
nal a manner as Mr. Harper's were by the citizens 
of New York in 1844. 

The mayoralty of New York is an office in im- 
portance equal to that of the chief magistracy of 
most of the states, and superior, perhaps, to that of 
any other city in the world, as most of the great 
cities of Europe are divided into comparatively 
small municipalities, with distinct governments. 
The affairs of New York had been managed ;n 
turn by the leaders of the two great rival parties, 



and the people grew anxious for the selection of a 
magistrate unconnected with the old organizations, 
whose personal character should be an assurance to 
them of ability and fidelity. The lax administration 
of the laws connected with foreign emigration, led 
to the formation of the American party; and in the 
year referred to, that party nominated for this of- 
fice, with great unanimity, Mr. James Harper. We 
have been particular in stating the circumstances, 
because the nomination and election were in an ex- 
traordinary degree tributes of personal respect and 
confidence, bestowed upon a citizen who had never 
mingled in political affairs, and known to the elect- 
ors only for his abilities and honorable private life. 
Mr. Harper conferred with his brothers upon re- 
ceiving the nomination, and would have declined, 
having no ambition for such distinctions, and but 
little confidence in the favorable auguries of his 
friends ; but his scruples were overcome, and, in 
the face of the most energetic action on the part 
of the old parties, thoroughly organized and with 
popular candidates, he was triumphantly returned 
by a majority of from five to six thousand votes. 

Note. — We have another fact to add to this brief history, 
and in writing it we may invade more than is fitting the sacred 
privacy of domestic life. The successful and happy career of Mr. 
Harper has recently been interrupted by an irreparable loss, in 
the death of one of the most admirable wives that ever made an 
earthly home a type of the heavenly. Mrs. Harper, formerly Miss 
Arcularius, of a family distinguished in the history of our great 
metropolis, died after a painful illness, borne with Christian re- 
signation, on the 4th of March, 1847; and after an appropriate 
funeral discourse, by her pastor, the Rev. Mr. Crawford, of the 
John street Methodist church, was buried in the Greenwood Ceme- 
tery. Her memory is cherished by many who had been relieved 
from suffering by her judicious munificence, or been guided and 
encouraged in the pleasant ways of piety by her beautiful instruc- 
tions and example. Her character presents a rare combination of 
moral and intellectual excellencies; and no felicities which the 
world can bestow can renew to her husband and children the 
happiness which with her has passed from earth to heaven. 



The following notice of this worthy man, is con- 
densed from a memoir by Greorge Lippard, Esq.: 

The glories of this world are not altogether found 
upon the battle-field, amid the bones and skulls of 
carnage. There is one spectacle, upon which the 
angels may look with reverence. It is not the war- 
rior, crowned with the laurels of slaughter, guiding 
his war-horse over heaps of dead; nor the states- 
man, convulsing nations from the tribune of the 
senate, so that he may reap his harvest of fame and 
gold, from the very baseness of political strife ; nor 
is it the merely rich man, whose only religion is to 
accumulate and gather fresh stores of gold, to sink 
him the deeper in a forgotten grave. 

It is none of these. It is a solitary man, toiling 
from the shadows of obscure life into an eminence 
of usefulness; from the darkness of hardship and 
the work-shop of toil, into the sunshine of a great 
and benevolent enterprize. 

We will look upon a man of this class. 

It was in New York, in the time of the cholera, 
when the school-houses were turned into hospitals, 
and the grave-yards could not hold the dead, when 
the plague, and the panic born of the plague, smote 
its thousands every day, and summed up its tens of 
thousands every week, that a young man was toil- 
ing steadily, in the shadows of a printing office. 

Were we to look upon him in his toil — while the 
hot air of the pestilence came like a furnace blast 
through the unclosed windows of the work-shop — 
we should not so much regard his plain dress, his, 
humble position, his long days and nights of labor, 
as look with interest upon that manly though meek 
face, enlivened by an eye that already flashed with 







great enterprize, and mellowed by the glow of a 
soul full of good to the whole human race. 

The history of the young mechanic would fill us 
with strong interest for his fate. 

Born in St. Johns, New Brunswick, on the 2Sth 
of June, 1810, he had struggled up, through the la- 
borious scenes of seven years' apprenticeship, and, 
with a mind strengthened by a solid English edu- 
cation, always kept in view the great end of his life. 
That hope, to convert the gloomy press into an en- 
gine of immense good, to make it a messenger of 
knowledge to many hundred thousand homes, and 
have the children of a future age say of him, this 
was not the Hero of the Sword, but the Apostle of 
the Printing Press. 

How did he accomplish it? In the spring of the 
year 1832, he started in business, and supported his 
family by printing cards and circulars. The cho- 
lera came, and with it the universal panic and the 
tottering of all public confidence. He was forced 
to close his shop, and take to his journevman life 

Still in this time of unobtrusive toil, a great vision 
of usefulness opened upon him. While working at 
the press and case, he determined to become a pub- 
lisher. Without capital, without the praise of 
pompous reviewers, without friends — save the ge- 
nerous few attracted by his unyielding virtues — he 
made up his mind to be the publisher of useful 

He calmly laid his plan, and in the silence of the 
night, after the day's work was over, matured it 
into shape. He determined to pursue the only 
legitimate method of publication — to advertise his 
works, place them thoroughly before the people, 
and leave the people alone to decide on their 

The cholera passed, and he resorted to his press 
and types once more. In the short intervals snatch- 


ed from severe labor, he compiled a chart, entitled, 
" The world at one view'' placed it in type, published 
it in one broad sheet, advertised it for twelve and a 
half cents, and was rewarded by a sale of about 
20,000 copies. 

This was a good beginning-. The Family Receipt 
Book was next published, met with a rapid sale, 
and the young publisher began to widen his plans, 
and concentrate his resources for greater efforts. 

Undismayed by the sneers of the idle and 
thoughtless, the cold approbation of doubtful 
friends, he then projected a work in three large 
volumes, copiously adorned with engravings, and 
entitled, Pictorial Illustrations of the Bible. This re- 
quired immense labor, and, more than capital, the 
confidence of the public. The young publisher had 
it. For pressing steadily onward, after an interva. 
of several years, he issued this work in the fall of 
1840 — risked his all on it, staked every cent in ad- 
vertising it to the whole union, and sold 25,000 
copies. Decidedly a triumph for the journeyman 
printer of yesterday ! 

Then he began his grand mission of teaching to 
nations and to man, by the medium of books, in- 
tended to be useful and popular, and made to speak 
through the eye to the heart, by appropriate and 
vivid pictorial illustrations. 

It is that branch of art known as wood engraving, 
which, by its peculiar qualities, especially presents 
itself as a great medium of pictured thought. It is 
cheap, available, effective. It can be printed with 
the pages of a book, and with the same press. It is 
capable of rich lights, and deep shadows, far beyond 
the power of copper or steel. Robert Sears has 
called to his aid this branch, of art, and showed its 
powers in his Pictorial Illustrations of the Bible. , 

The name of Robert Sears began to grow in the 
minds of the people, and the homes of the land 
learned it by heart in his numerous works. 


We might draw large deductions from the life of 
Robert Sears, bat that life speaks for itself. It says 
to every young man in the Union, behold the fruits 
of unswerving integrity, unstained morals, unyield- 
ing enterprize. It shows, conclusively, that one 
man, aided by his own hand, may emerge from a 
printing office, and gather the harvest of his long 
years of toil, in the approbation of a whole' people. 
It asserts, that with no capita J, but a common 
school education, a firm heart, and an honest pair 
of hands, a young man may carve himself a glorious 
way to usefulness and fame. 

Mr. Sears published several months ago his great- 
est work, The Pictorial Domestic Bible. We can- 
not but wish him success in it, for his whole heart 
is engaged in the enterprize; he has brought the 
honestly acquired wealth of years to the task, and 
nerved his soul to its successful issue. It is a book 
for the pulpit, the home, the closet. In it we be- 
hold the Bible of our faith, glowing Avith pictures 
that reveal to us, at a glance, the life, the history, 
the poetry of the Bible. It is a glorious field — a 
holy task: 

Chance may produce a notorious, but never yet 
did chance produce a great man. No man can be 
wise or good without labor. Robert Sears is a firm 
believer in this stern truth, and upon this basis, he 
has arisen to usefulness and fame. He is above all 
sect or party. His creed is simple — it can be un- 
derstood at a glance, for it is Love. 

We must confess that this Robert Sears is no or- 
dinary man. His books have become household 
treasures in the towns and farms of New England. 
The printed results of his research and industry, 
have enlightened the log cabins of the west, and 
penetrated with benevolent light, the rude homes 
of Texas. Throughout Canada, Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, and the British possessions in North 
America, he is widely and favorably known as the 


pioneer of a better age, in this home literature, 
adapted for the sanctities of the fireside. 

Even the queen of Great Britain has welcomed 
his labors with royal applause, and stamped his books 
with more than royal approbation — with the good 
wishes and the smile of a woman and a mother. 

It must be gratifying to Mr. Sears to reflect that 
the intelligence of the kind wishes and deserved 
approval of Victoria, was conveyed to him in an 
official letter, written by her request. 

An effective contrast might be drawn between 
Robert Sears and his granduncle, the Rienzi of the 
revolution, and who was by his opponents nick-nam- 
ed King Sears. The latter is seen in the dawn of 
the revolution at all points, now breasting his sol- 
diers on New York battery, now scattering into 
atoms the infamous tory press of Rivington,- now 
boldly advocating the assembling of a continental 
congress. A sturdy man, nursed into familiarity 
with danger on the broad ocean, he gathers the 
people, becomes their oracle, prepares the way for 
Washington and the signers. Altogether, such a 
man as the Almighty sends to do a great work, and 
then retires from the stage. 

The descendant, Robert Sears, emerges from the 
shadows of a printing office, becomes the publisher 
of a people, and sends copies of all his works to 
Queen Victoria, grand-daughter of George the III, 
whom King Sears successfully resisted on all occa- 
sions. The sovereign of the same nation, which op- 
posed our entrance into the family of nations, is 
happy to receive American books from a descendant 
of a revolutionary hero. 



This remarkable man was born at Nantucket, 
Massachusetts, June 12th, 1765, and is now in his 
eighty-third year. His paternal ancestor, John Fol- 
ger, came from England, in 1636, and settled at 
Martha's Vineyard. In 1644, Peter married Mary 
Morrell, a waiting maid, by whom he had eight 
children. In 1662, he removed to Nantucket, where 
he had another child, named Abiah, who was the 
mother of Benjamin Franklin. 

Walter, the subject of this sketch, during the 
brief schooling he received before the revolution, 
never even saw a dictionary, but heard of a gram- 
mar book. In 1783, without any instructor, he 
made considerable proficiency in algebra. He was 
also a self-taught French scholar. Having acquired 
a knowledge of astronomy, in 1790, he completed 
and set in operation one of the most wonderful 
pieces of mechanism of the age. It is an astrono- 
mical clock, which, from that period to the present 
hour, has kept time according to astronomical cal- 
culations. It is made of brass and steel. It keeps 
the date of the year, and the moon's nodes round 
the ecliptic. The sun and moon rise and set pre- 
cisely in accordance with those in the heavens, and 
it shows the sun's place in the ecliptic. The wheel 
that keeps the date of the year, revolves once in 
one hundred years, remaining still ten years, and 
at the expiration of each ten years, it starts regu- 
larly one notch. No other clock of this kind has 
ever been heard of. In 1817, Mr. Folger made, en- 
tirely himself, a large telescope, which, for its size, 
was of much greater power than Herschell's. A 
self-taught lawyer, he practised in Massachusetts 
for many years. 




Chancellor Walworth is the man who more than 
twenty years ago, prophesied that " the time would 
come when men would as soon be found engaged 
in poisoning their neighbors' wells, as to be found 
in making or vending intoxicating liquors, to be 
used as a beverage in health." His exertions in 
the glorious cause of temperance alone, have entitled 
him to a fadeless wreath, that will hold its greenness 
in the lapse of ages, and freshen through eternity. 
His efforts to crush the serpent which was convert- 
ing the bloom of Eden into a wilderness of woe, 
have caused his name to be wafted abroad on every 
breeze that fans the cheek of the philanthropist. 

William Walworth of Groton, in Connecticut, 
his paternal ancestor, was the head of the family 
in this country. He was a farmer, and came from 
the neighborhood of London shortly before the close 
of the seventeenth century, with Governor Fitzjohn 
Winthrop, and went on to Fisher's Island, to take 
charge of the governor's farm there. He married 
Abigail Seaton, who came over from England at 
the same time. While Kidd and his associates 
were carrying on their piratical operations on the 
coast, William Walworth and his family were driven 
from the island. He then purchased a farm at 
Groton, but died soon afterwards, and before he 
had paid for his land, leaving three sons and two 
daughters, all minors. But his widow, a woman 
of great energy of character, and who had received 
a good education before she had left England, was 
enabled, with the assistance of her children, to pay 
for the farm, and to bring up her family comfortably 
upon it. 

John Walworth, the youngest son of William, 


also a farmer, was the grandfather of the subject of 
this sketch. He married Sarah Dunn of Newport, 
Rhode Island. He died about 1750. He left nine 
children, of whom Benjamin "Walworth, the father 
of R. Hyde, was the youngest, he being under five 
years of age at the time of his parent's death. John 
resided for a time on Gardiner's island, afterwards 
at Horseneck, and finally settled in his native town. 
In 1774 he received a commission !rom Gov. Law, 
appointing him an officer of cavalry. He died at 
Groton, without much property, and leaving his 
children dependent on their own exertions for a 

Benjamin Walworth was born at Groton in 1746. 
He learned the trade of a hatter, and worked for 
several years at the business, during the early part 
of his life. At the commencement of the revolu- 
tion, he was adjutant of Col. Stevens's regiment, and 
was at the battle of White Plains. He was after- 
wards at Minisink, at the time it was destroyed by 
the Indians under Brant, and narrowly escaped the 
massacre which followed. He was quarter-master 
of the detachment which pursued the Indians, and 
was sent back to procure ammunition, only about 
an hour before the detachment fell into the ambus- 
cade. His light fowling piece, which he gave to 
one of his companions in arms when he left the 
detachment, and which saved the life of its tempo- 
rary possessor, is still preserved by the family. Soon 
after the close of the revolution, Benjamin was en- 
gaged in merchandize in Dutchess county, with 
Philip Hart, and he subsequently established another 
store at Schaghticoke, in Rensselaer county. After 
the final cessation of hostilities in 1782, he returned 
to Connecticut, was married, and two or three years 
afterwards relinquished his business as a merchant. 
He then took a farm at Bosworth, New London 
county, where he resided until 1793. He afterwards 
purchased a farm at Hoosick, New York, and carried 


on the business of farming in that town until his 
death in 1812. 

The maiden name of the mother of R. Hyde, was 
Apphia Hyde. She was a daughter of the Rev. 
Jedediah Hyde, a seperatist clergyman of Norwich, 
Connecticut. He was a great-grandson of William 
Hyde, (one of the thirty-five original proprietors of 
Norwich,) who came from England, and who was 
one of the first settlers of Hartford. Her mother 
was Jerusha Tracy, granddaughter of John Tracy, 
another of the original proprietors of Norwich, and 
a granddaughter of Mary Chilton, who came over 
in the May Flower, and married John Winslow of 
the Plymouth Colony. (Lieut. -Gov. John Tracy of 
Chenango county, and Albert H. Tracy of Buffalo, 
are of the branch of the Tracy family.) John Wal- 
worth,- the oldest brother of the chancellor, was a 
major in the army of the United States, during the 
last war with Great Britain, and distinguished him- 
self at the taking of Little York and Fort George. 
At the former place he led the advance, and was 
by the side of Gen. Pike when that brave officer 
was killed. He was himself wounded at the same 
time. At the close of the war he settled at Platts- 
burg, and was afterwards elected clerk of Clinton 
county. This office he held until his appointment 
as assistant register of the court of chancery, and 
which he retained until his death in 1839. 

James Clinton Walworth, the second brother, a 
farmer, resides in Otsego county, where he has been 
county judge for many years. The third brother, 
Jedediah H., was a lawyer, and died about twenty 
years ago. The fourth brother, Benjamin, is a phy- 
sician of eminence, at Fredonia, in the county of 
Chautauque, and was also a county judge for many 
years. The younger brother, Hiram, the late as- 
sistant register, is now living at Plattsburg. The 
youngest sister married Capt. C. T. Piatt, of the Unit- 
ed States navy. There are also three other sisters who 


are married, and who reside in the county of Chau- 

It. Hyde Walworth, the chancellor, was born at 
Bozrah, a part of the old town of Norwich, in Con- 
necticut, on the 26th of October, 1789, and, with 
his parents, removed to Hoosick, Rensselaer county, 
New York, in 1793. He was brought up to the busi- 
ness of farming. He had no advantages of educa- 
tion, except what he obtained at a common village 
school. He has repeatedly said, that he has all his 
life felt the loss of a liberal education, and that he 
could have been a much more useful member of 
the community, had he enjoyed the advantages in 
this respect, which are possessed by so many of the 
young men of the present day. So anxious was he to 
get an education, that at the age of twelve he went 
from home,and worked through the winter, mornings 
and evenings, for his board ; that he might have the 
advantage of a better common school than that in 
the vicinity of his father's residence. At the age 
of sixteen he was himself a teacher in a village 
school, during the winter months. He was also 
engaged in the same employment during the follow- 
ing winter. 

In the summer of his eighteenth year, he met 
with an accident which incapacitated him for farm- 
ing, and changed the whole course of his life. In 
drawing a load of grain, he overturned it down a 
precipice. Being on the top of the load, he fell 
with it; by which means one of his ancles was so 
much injured, as to make him lame for several 
months. In consequence of this accident he was 
obliged to quit farming. He then went into a 
store for a short time, as clerk. While there, he 
commenced the study of law, with a lawyer resid- 
ing near the store. He afterwards entered the of- 
fice of the late John Bussel, of Troy, who was an 
excellent jurist and a most worthy man. At the 
age of twenty, Mr. Walworth was admitted an at- 


torney of the court of common pleas. He then 
formed a copartnership with the late Judge Palmer 
who was an attorney of the supreme court, and 
went into practice with him at Plattsburg, in 1810. 

In the spring of 1811 he was appointed a justice 
of the peace for Clinton county. About the same 
time, Governor Tompkins appointed him a master 
in chancery. He was also admitted to the supreme 
court during the same year. 

In January, 1812, he was married to Miss Maria 
Ketchum Averill, of Plattsburg, she being then a 
few days over sixteen years of age. They have had 
six children — two sons and four daughters — all of 
whom are still living, except one daughter, who 
died at the age of five years. 

A week after the birth of his first child, in De- 
cember, 1813, he had the misfortune, by an acci- 
dental fire, to lose his house, which he had built 
the preceding year, and from which he himself nar- 
rowly escaped with his life. Being engaged in 
throwing from the upper window the trunks of 
some officers, who had gone on a furlough, and left 
their baggage with him for safety; he remained un- 
til the fire broke in upon him, by which he was 
considerably burnt. He succeeded, however, in 
making his way through the flames to the foot of 
the lower stairs, when he fainted, and was carried 
out by some friends who happened to be there. By 
this fire, he lost about the whole of the avails of his 
previous professional labor, which he had invested 
in the house. But as a quaint writer has remark- 
ed, " as it would be harmful to the earth, was 
ever summer and sunshine, so would it be prejudi- 
cial to man if fortune was ever smiling. It is ne- 
cessary for our contentation that we should now 
and then be reminded by a fire or a blast, that all 
we possess is precarious." But this misfortune did 
not deprive Mr. Walworth of his energy. Having 
many friends, who gave him sufficient employment, 


he soon recovered from his loss. In addition to 
this, by the death of his father, he came into the 
possession of a small patrimony. 

In 1^13, he was appointed one of the aids to Ma- 
jor General Mooers, who had the command of the 
United States forces during the siege of Plattsburg, 
in Sept., 1814. The latter, at the time of the siege, 
assigned to Mr. Walworth the duty of acting adju- 
tant-general of the forces under his command. The 
whole of his division, except the brigade in Colum- 
bia county, were called out at that time, but only 
three regiments arrived at Plattsburg before the re- 
treat of the enemy. On the evening of the 5th of 
September, the head quarters of Gen. Mooers were 
at Beekmantown, about five miles and a half in ad- 
vance of the fort at Plattsburg, and the enemy, who 
were advancing upon the place in great force, had 
encamped for the night, two or three miles further 
north. Between nine and ten o'clock at night, 
upon consultation with Gen. Mooers, the latter con- 
cluded to send an order to Brigadier General Ma- 
comb, who was in command of the regular troops 
in the fort at Plattsburg, to detach two hundred in- 
fantry and a company of light artillery, and to send 
them out early in the morning to sustain the mih- 
tia, and the resistance it was intended to make to 
the advance of the enemy. Mr. Walworth accord- 
ingly made out the order, and rode with it to 
Plattsburg, arriving at the quarters of General Ma- 
comb about midnight. From thence he went to 
his own deserted home on the north side of the 
river, in the village, and slept upon the floor until 
daylight; when he mounted his horse and rode 
back to the head quarters of General Mooers, arriv- 
ing there about sunrise. In the mean time, Major 
(now Gen.) Wool, having been detatched with two 
hundred infantry, had arrived at the same place. 
They were posted about half a mile in advance of 
Gen. Mooers' head quarters. Information was soon 


brought to the general, that the enemy had broken 
up their encampment and were advancing. Gen. 
Mooers thereupon ordered Mr. Walworth to take a 
detachment of the militia, and to proceed to occu- 
py a bridge across a small stream, in front of the 
enemy's advancing troops, so as to retard the pro- 
gress of their artillery. He did so, and the action on 
that day commenced with the detachment under 
his command, when the fighting became general. 
The American troops fell back gradually to Platts- 
burg, making one or two stands, at favorable posi- 
tions, where the enemy suffered severely. In 
marching through the village to the forts, on the 
south side of the river, they passed Maj. Walworth's 
house, in front of which there was a skirmish, 
which left many marks of balls on the building, 
many of which are still visible. He had some days 
previous sent off his family to the village of Penn, 
about twelve miles south of Plattsburg. After the 
retreat of our troops across the river, his house re- 
mained in possession of the enemy until they left, 
after the battle of the 11th. It had also been in 
their possession three years before, when they de- 
stroyed the arsenal, barracks, &c. 

A. C. Moore, Esq., in an anniversary address de- 
livered at Plattsburg, Sept. 11, 1843, thus alludes to 
the battle: 

" Meanwhile Gen. Mooers, with the aid of Maj. 
Walworth, our present chancellor, Col. Miller and 
other officers, of the 4th brigade, had succeeded in 
rallying a portion of the militia, which being order- 
ed to join Maj. Wool, with his detachment, awaited 
the approach of the enemy at Calver's hill, about 
four miles from Plattsburg. This commanding po- 
sition was maintained with so much obstinacy, as to 
compel the enemy, after attaining the summit of 
the hill, to retire to its base, with the loss of Lieut. 
Col. Wellington, who fell while gallantly leading 
the 3d Buffs to the charge." 


Here it was that Capt. Leonard, with his two 
pieces of light artillery, arrived to take part in the 
action. At this point, one of the finest specimens 
of discipline ever exhibited, was shown by the Brit- 
ish troops on the occasion of the opening of Capt. 
Leonard's battery upon them. The company to 
which I was attached, formed a part of the left of 
our little army, and was on the rise of ground west 
of the road leading from Halsey's corner to Isaac C. 
Piatt's, about midway between the artillery and the 
head of the British columns, and the whole scene 
was open to our view. Here, at Halsey's corner, 
was a battery of two field pieces, so perfectly mask- 
ed by a party of infantry, that the enemy were pro- 
bably not aware of it until it opened upon them. 
There was a dense column of men, with a front 
equal to the width of the road, and extending half 
a mile in length, pressing on with a buoyancy and 
determination of spirit, confident that they would 
be enabled to walk into our works without opposi- 

March — march — march ! 

Earth groans as they tread ; 
Each carries a skull, 

Going down to the dead. 
Every stride — every stamp 

Every foot-fall is bolder ; 
'T is a skeleton tramp, 

With a skuJl on his shoulder. 
But ho ! how he steps, 

With high, tossing head, 
That clay covered bone, 

Going down to the dead. 

Suddenly, with the noise of thunder, the sound 
of cannon came booming through the air. It sent 
forth a round shot which took effect near the cen- 
tre of the front platoon, about breast high, and 
plowed its way through, sweeping all before it the 
whole length of the column, opening a space, appa- 


rently several feet wide, which, however, was im- 
mediately closed, as if by magic, and the column 
pressed on, as if nothing had happened. A second 
shot was fired, with like effect and similar conse- 
quences; but when the third discharge came, with 
a shower of grape shot, there was a momentary con- 
fusion. Immediately, however, the charge was 
sounded by some dozen British bugles, which, 
through the clear and bland atmosphere of a bright 
September morning, was the most thrilling and' 
spirit-stirring sound that could greet a soldier's ear. 
In an instant of time, the men forming the advance 
of the column, had thrown their knapsacks on each 
side of the road, and bringing their pieces to a 
charge, advanced in double quick time upon our 
miniature battery." 

Major Walworth again distinguished himself in 
the battle of the 11th of September, 1814, with the 
brigade of the enemy which crossed the Saranac at 
Pike's cantonment, to get in rear of the fort. 

Speaking of the result of the naval engagement 
on Lake Champlain, on the same day, which was 
witnessed by the contending thousands on shore, 
Mr. Moore remarks: 

" When the firing ceased upon the lake, Major 
Walworth, (who had been despatched early in the 
action, by Gen. Mooers, from the plain, to station a 
portion of the Vermont militia on the Saranac, and 
learn and report the result of the naval engage- 
ment,) was seen through the thin trees, returning 
with his horse, at the top of his speed, and waving 
his hat. Gen. Mooers well knew the joyous signal, 
and three deafening cheers arose from the line of 
the gallant New York militia, and spread like wild- 
fire on the right, among the Green mountain t oys." 

The whole period during which Major Walworth' 
served, did not exceed fifteen days; but it was full 
of incident. He has never been ambitious of mili- 
tary fame, but as the above particulars form a part 


of the history of the country, they, could not well be 
omitted. During the time, his law office was burnt 
by hot shot from our artillery, in driving- the enemy 
out of the village on the north side of the river. 

In 1818 a law being passed for the appointment 
of a supreme court commissioner for the west- 
ern part of the state of New York, Major Walworth 
obtained that appointment. In the spring of 1821 
he was elected to congress from the double district, 
comprising Washington, Warren, Clinton, Essex, 
and Franklin counties. Although the political ma- 
jority in the district was about 1,800 the other way, 
the year previous, he was elected by about 1,500 
majority, and his colleague, G-en. Pitchin, by about 
900 majority over their opponents. While in con- 
gress he served on two important committees, viz. : 
the committee on elections, and the military com- 
mittee, and in consequence of the feeble health of 
D. Eustis, chairman of the latter committee, most 
of the duties of preparing reports and bills, devolved 
upon Major Walworth. It was during the first ses- 
sion of the 17th congress, in the winter of 1821 and 
1822, that he first introduced the proposition to abol- 
ish the whiskey ration for our regular soldiers, and 
which was carried into effect by Gen. Cass, when 
he was at the head of the war department some 
years afterwards. But at the time Major Walworth 
introduced the resolution of inquiry in January, 
1822, which was some years before the organization 
of temperance societies here, it was impossible to 
obtain a favorable report upon the proposition. In- 
deed it was only by great exertion that he was en- 
abled to carry the resolution of inquiry, it being 
then considered by most men as perfectly visionary 
to suppose that an army could be kept together 
without the spirit ration. Having declined a re- 
election to congress, which would have been cer- 
tain, he was, in 1823, appointed by Gov. Yates, cir- 
cuit judge of the fourth circuit. In the fall of the 


year he left his residence at Plattsburg, where he 
had lived thirteen years, and removed to Saratoga 
Springs, his present residence. 

The most important trial before him, as circuit 
judge, was that of the three Thayers, for the mur- 
der of John Love, in the spring of 1825, and who 
were all convicted and hung upon the same gal- 
lows; and the trial of Stephen Videte, in Franklin 
county, for the murder of Fanny Mosely, both of 
which trials were reported. While circuit judge, 
he made it a practice to interchange with the other 
judges, so as to hold only one circuit in the differ- 
ent counties of his own circuit, in each year. In 
this way he held courts in more than twelve of the 
counties in the state, during the five years he was 
on the bench of that court. 

In April, 1828, upon the resignation of Chancel- 
lor Jones, he was appointed to the office of Chan- 
cellor. It is but justice to Major Walworth to say, 
that he would not permit himself to be appointed 
over the heads of the then justices of the supreme 
court, without their consent. Mr. Justice Wood- 
worth lacked but a few months of the age of consti- 
tutional disability to retain the office, and was not, 
therefore, consulted. Under these circumstances, 
the poor boy who toiled during severe winters to 
pay for his schooling, entered upon the arduous and 
responsible duties of Chancellor of the state of 
New York! 

How faithfully those duties have been discharged, 
the numerous commendations from men of all par- 
ties, will be the best answer. The twelve volumes 
of the reports of his most important decisions in 
chancery, and his opinions in the court for the cor- 
rection of errors, which are found scattered through 
the thirty-five volumes of Wendell's, Hill's, and 
other reports, will enable the profession to form 
their own opinions on the subject. As a solitary 
proof, however, of the estimation in which his 


talents are held, we would call attention to his recent 
appointment by the legislature, as one of the com- 
missioners for a revision of the code of the state — 
but which honor, in an interesting and instructive 
letter, highly creditable to himself, he thought pro- 
per to decline. A highly respectable journal, in 
admitting the validity of the reasons of his resigna- 
tion, said: "The liberal education, the real know- 
ledge, and the views and purposes of reform, which 
the chancellor was known to entertain, afforded 
great promise of favorable results. He unites to 
great industry and clear knowledge of our law, a 
more thorough acquaintance with the judicial sys- 
tems and legal polity of other nations, than falls to 
the lot of many of the bench and bar." 

At the organization of the State Temperance So- 
ciety, in February, 1829, he was appointed its pre- 
sident ; and he continued to be elected to the same 
station, until his appointment as president of the 
National Temperance Union. 

In 1 835, he was honored with the degree of LL. 
D., by the college of New Jersey, at Princeton. He 
subsequently received the same honor from Yale 
college, at New Haven — both of which were as un- 
expected as they were unsought. 

In 1840, he was elected a corporate member of 
the board of commissioners for foreign missions ; 
and he has attended the annual meetings of the 
board ever since. 

Upon the death of the late Judge Thompson, a 
majority of the New York delegation in congress, 
presented the chancellor's name to President Ty- 
ler, for the vacancy upon the bench of the United 
States supreme court. His name, after the rejec- 
tion of Mr. Spencer, was accordingly sent to the 
senate. Political considerations, however, induced 
the majority of that body to postpone the appoint- 
ment, until after the result of the presidential elec- 
tion was known. At the commencement of the 


next session of congress, a renewal of the nomina- 
tion being deemed necessary by some of the sena- 
tors, the name of the chancellor was again sent in ; 
and it is well known that every member of the 
legislature of New York, of both political par- 
ties, joined in a request to the senate to confirm 
the nomination. But for some reason which has 
never been explained, the senate neglected to act 
upon it, until the president became satisfied that 
it was intended to postpone it beyond the session; 
whereupon the nomination was withdrawn, and the 
name of Chief Justice Nelson substituted. 

In his domestic relations, Chancellor Walworth 
has been eminently blessed. As has been previ- 
ously stated, he was united to Miss Maria K. Ave- 
rill, in 1812, when she was little more than sixteen 
years of age. Entering upon the duties of a mother 
and mistress of a household, at an age when most 
are occupied with their sports or their school, there 
was an early development of those traits of charac- 
ter for which she was distinguished in later life ; 
and when the entire charge of the domestic ar- 
rangement of a large family was necessarily com- 
mitted to her, she was found fully prepared for 
it. She, with her husband, joined the presbyterian 
church at Plattsburg, in 1821, and if there ever ex- 
isted an humble practical Christian, she was one. 
Her actions proved that she believed what she pro- 
fessed. But on the 24th of April last, a voice said, 
"come up hither," and the devoted wife and ten- 
der mother exchanged the tears of earth for the 
smiles of heaven. Her dying scene was worthy of 
the life that she had lived; it was a scene of tri- 
umph — there was glory in her last words — in her 
last look. She clung to the cross as her only re- 
fuge — clung to it with a tenacity which brought 
perfect assurance to her spirit, and kindled a glow 
of rapture in her countenance while she lay amidst 
the shadows of death. They sung at her bedside, 


" Rock of ages, cleft for me," and her serene and 
triumphant smile showed that she could appreciate 
it. It was no common death that she died ; and 
all who looked on felt that there was in the scene, 
, an unwonted commingling of heaven with earth. 
How happy will be the meeting of the bereaved 
family with her again in that better world — 

Where every severed wreath is bound, 

And none have heard the knell 
That smites the soul in that wild sound — 

Farewell, beloved, farewell. 


One of the patriarchs of the city of New York, 
was born at the beautiful village of Morrisiana, 
Westchester county, on the 31st of October, 1775 
His father was Samuel Ogden, of New Jersey. His 
mother was a sister of the late celebrated Gover- 
neur Morris, whose name figures so largely in the 
history of this state. 

The subject of our notice was educated at Phila- 
delphia, and received his degree of bachelor of arts 
in the University of Pennsylvania, about the year 
1792. He studied law in the state of New Jersey, 
and was admitted to the bar in the fall of 1796. 
In November, 1803, he removed to New York city, 
where he has resided ever since. He married in 
1805. His amiable partner was a native of New 
Jersey, and has been dead for some years. No 
couple ever lived more happily together. Perfect 
bliss cannot be known in this world ; yet if there 
can be a heaven upon earth, it is where strong, 
deep, all-hallowing household love is the sunshine 


that pervades every thing within its charmed circle 
of union. Yet, 

There is no union here of hearts, 
Which has not here an end. 

But as the glorious summer comes back again, 
recalling from the earth the flowers and leaves, and 
spreading over the sky the sunshine and the blue ; 
so will the dawning of another life restore to the 
mourner, the bright objects of love and affection, 
giving the " sunshine of faith, and the blue sky of 

Bat although the wife of his youth has gone, he 
has still rich blessings left to him in his children, 
all of whom are above reproach. Truly dutiful, af- 
fectionate children, are the real gold and silver of 
life, and without domestic riches, all else is dross. 

In 1814 and 1837, Mr. Ogden represented the city 
of New York in the house of assembly, and on both 
occasions he acquitted himself to the satisfaction of 
his constituents. He is a man of sterling principle, 
liberal feelings, and amiable disposition ; and dur- 
ing his extensive practice, has acquired a great 
knowledge of human nature. Of his professional 
life there can be but one opinion. He has talents 
of the highest order, and at the bar he has but few 
equals; and it is not necessary to say, that for a 
long period he has been at the head of many of the 
movements in the city of New York, for the pro- 
motion of objects of benevolence. 

As the full moon sinks slowly beneath the west- 
ern waters, so may he, sweetly and calmly glide in 
peace to the land of sleepers, and awaken in that 
region where the Savior is the only advocate, and 
where reigns universal the law of love. 



Whose eye does not brighten at the mention of 
this name ? and who does not exult at the fact that 
" this man is ours?" From the age of five to the 
present time, his life has "been one of toil. Nearly 
twenty years ago, he grasped the banner of tempe- 
rance ; and without a thought of retreating, he has 
been pressing forward, through sunshine and storm, 
devoting his energies and his wealth to the ad- 
vancement of the glorious cause. No spoiled har- 
vests and desolated countries have marked his 
path; but the waste places of the heart have been 
made to bloom, and " roses have sprung up in the 
place of ashes." His circulation of more than 
twenty millions of temperance documents, will give 
a faint idea of the extent of his labors of love. 
His extreme modesty would be wounded by an 
enumeration of other deeds, equally redounding to 
his honor. He has in truth, from the beginning, 
been a laborer in every sense of the word. While 
many were content with talking, he was acting. 
When others said, "goon," he said, " come on." 
It has been well remarked that example is a living 
lesson. It is like statuary. It is sculptured into 
form. Every action has a tongue. Words are but 
articulated breath. Deeds proclaim what is within. 

In the first temperance convention ever held in 
this country, for discussing the total abstinence 
question, which took place at Albany, in 1834, Mr. 
Delavan introduced a preamble and resolution, 
warmly recommending a total disuse of intoxicat- 
ing liquors, as the only effectual means of reform- 
ing the drunkard. The resolution was strongly, 
and no doubt conscientiously opposed, on the al- 
leged ground, "that the Scriptures permit and sane- 


tion the use of (intoxicating) wine; also, that the 
Savior not only used it, and consecrated it, but that 
he manufactured it." So great was the interest felt 
in this discussion, that over a hundred thousand 
copies of a document containing the speeches were 
circulated. The result was, that many good men 
began earnestly to examine their Bibles, and his- 
tory, to ascertain whether it was really intoxicating 
wine that the Savior made at Cana, and whicn he 
used as a symbol of his blood at the institution of 
the supper. A very general excitement was pro- 
duced by the agitation of the question — the opposi- 
tion appeared to triumph, and for a time the public 
discussion of the subject was suppressed. 

Not discouraged, however, Mr. Delavan, both at 
home and in foreign countries, applied himself with 
unwearied perseverance, and regardless of expense, 
to ascertain, if possible, through the agency of 
learned men, the kind of wine the Bible approved 
of, as a beverage in perfect health, as well as the 
character of the fruit of the vine, used by our Lord 
at the institution of the supper. How far he suc- 
ceeded, the first number of the Enquirer, published 
by him at Albany, in 1841, made manifest. In ad- 
dition to fifteen argumentative letters, addressed by 
Mr. Delavan to the Christian public, it contained a 
mass of irresistible evidence, from the greatest and 
wisest men of the age, in favor of total abstinence; 
and proving, beyond the possibility of doubt, that 
the liquor sold as wine in this country, whether for 
common or sacramental use, is not wine, in the 
scriptural sense, and often not the fruit of the vine 
at all, but a compound of distilled spirits and the 
most poisonous drugs. More than thirty thousand 
copies of the Enquirer were gratuitously circulated 
by Mr. Delavan, among clergymen, editors, post- 
masters, etc. The demon alcohol trembled on his 
throne, and thrust forth his forked tongue; but the 
truth went forth clothed in triple mail, and the 


gates of hell did not prevail against it. The formi- 
dable array of facts, fell like red hot shells into the 
powder magazine of the enemy, and the errors of 
centuries were exploded. 

The second number of the Enquirer vigorously 
followed up the attack ; and long before the appear- 
ance of the fourth number, in 1846, multitudes of 
churches had substituted the unintoxicating fruit 
of the vine, for distilled spirits and drugs, and the 
colors of total abstinence waved in triumph through 
the land. 

In exposing the unrelenting inhumanity of ava- 
rice, it could not be expected that the subject of 
this brief memoir would escape the difficulties with 
which benevolence and philanthropy must always 
struggle. On the contrary, his constancy has been 
fully and severely tried. But of the triumphant 
verdicts in his favor, when sued for speaking the 
truth, and of numerous other incidents of his ca- 
reer, it is not now necessary to speak. It is suffi- 
cient to say, that although now in his fifty-fourth 
year, he is as arduously as ever engaged in the 
good work, and will continue so, until he shall be 
called to drink of the crystal waters of the river of 
life, that flows through the paradise of God. In a 
few years the fallen leaves will rustle over his last 
resting place, but " his works will follow him." 
Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, and 
blessed also are the valiant who have lived in the 
Lord. The cause he advocates must prosper, for it 
is founded upon a rock. "It is a portion of God's 
empire, and from his throne he will defend it. 
The angels have their charge over it. The banners 
of archangels are" on its side ; and from sphere to 
sphere, through the illimitable ether, its triumph is 
hymned by harps which are strung to the glories 
of their Creator." 



Mr. Angel is a native of Block Island, in the 
state of Rhode Island, He was born on the 17th 
of July, 1790. His parents were Quakers, and na- 
tives of New London county. The subject of our 
notice was the youngest of ten children. His fa- 
ther, whose means were very limited, removed to 
Otsego county, New York, in 1792, that portion of 
the state being then a wilderness, owing to which 
William could have no advantages of education. 
His sisters taught him his alphabet, and to read 
and write. He afterwards, for about, in the aggre- 
gate, a year, attended a summer school, taught by 
very ordinary teachers. He worked on a farm with 
his father until he was nineteen years of age. At 
that period he became acquainted with the late 
William "Davis, Esq,, attorney at law, of Coopers- 
town. This gentleman hired him as a domestic 
servant, at eight dollars per month. After "doing 
up" the work, having much leisure, William de- 
voted it to the books in the office. His employer, 
observing this love of reading, strongly urged him 
to embark in the study of the law, which he did. 
He continued as clerk in the office until the winter 
of 1813, when his employer died. Mr. Angel had 
then to struggle hard in order to support himself 
and to complete the term of his clerkship. Having 
no time allowed for classical studies, he was oblig- 
ed to serve the full term of seven years, before he 
was admitted. In August, 1817, he was licensed 
to practice as an attorney in the supreme court of 
New York. He commenced business at Burling- 
ton, Otsego county, and remained there until 1833. 
In 1821, he was appointed surrogate of Otsego 
county, which office he held until the fall of 1824, 


when he was elected to represent that county in 
congress. In 1823, he was again elected to con- 
gress; and in 1830, in such high estimation did his 
constituents hold his services, that he was sent a 
third term. While in congress, he was a member 
of the committees on Territories and on Indian af- 
fairs. He also served on several select committees. 

Mr. Angel removed to Angelica, Alleghany coun- 
ty, New York, in 1835, where he still remains. 
Since his residence in that place, he has had con- 
fided to him most of the difficult and intricate bu- 
siness done in the county. 

In April, 1846, he was elected to represent Alle- 
gany county in the state convention for revising the 
constitution. He attended the convention from its 
commencement to the close of its labors, and was 
a member of the committee upon the subject of lo- 
cal affairs. He devoted much of his time and at- 
tention to the articles in the constitution relating to 
internal improvement, and to the finances of the 

On the 7th of June, 1847, the humble boy, once 
hired out as a domestic servant, having three times 
sat among the magnates of the land, in congress, 
besides filling other offices of trust and honor, was 
elected county judge of Allegany county 

Never give up ! there are chances and changes, 

Helping the hopeful, a hundred to one ; 
And through the chaos, High Wisdom arranges 

Ever success — if you '11 only hope on ; 
Never give up ! for the wisest is boldest, 

Knowing that Providence mingles the cup ; 
And of all maxims, the best, as the oldest, 

Is the true watch-word of " Never give up !" 



Ample as are the bodily dimensions of Senator 
Lewis, they are but a true indication of the great- 
ness of his mind. Contrary to the general rule, 
the preponderance of the outward man does not, in 
his case, affect the spirit that dwells within. He 
possesses rare qualities, both of head and heart. 
Like many others, he has, with indomitable energy, 
made his way from comparative obscurity, to his 
present honorable position. 

An anecdote is told of him, which is a charac- 
teristic one. On his return from Washington to 
Alabama, some time ago, the vessel in which he 
had embarked was overtaken by a storm, which so 
damaged her timbers, that she was soon found to 
be in, a sinking condition. The safety of the pas- 
sengers and crew depended on the long boat, to 
which they had recourse ; and she was loaded to the 
water's edge. Mr. Lewis was the last person on 
board the sinking ship; and as he was about to 
leave her, he saw the perilous condition of the boat, 
which his weight, for he exceeds four hundred 
pounds, must inevitably swamp, and he positively 
refused to enter, until she had been to land and de- 
posited her living freight safe on shore. It was a 
question of one life against many. If he entered 
the boat, all might be lost, while he alone would 
sink with the ship, if he were not rescued before 
she went down; and he generously and heroically 
resigned himself to what appeared to be inevitable 
destruction, that he might save his fellow passen- 
gers. He was, however, happily saved, and now 
worthily represents the state of Alabama in the 
Senate of the United States. 





. -j 



The paternal ancestor of Governeur Kemble was 
of English descent, and emigrated to New York in 
1704. His mother's family were French Huguenots. 
His maternal ancestor, Abraham Governeur, was 
secretary to Leisler, and, with him and Milbourne, 
attainted of high treason; which sentence was, 
however, afterwards annulled. The following pas- 
sage from Hale's United States, relative to Leisler 
and Milbourne, may be interesting: 

" These men, Leisler and Milbourne, were now 
in the power of their enraged enemies. They were 
accused of murder and rebellion; a special court 
was organized to try them ; they were convicted, 
and received sentence of death. But Slaughter he- 
sitated to sign the warrant for their execution. He 
knew that they had many warm friends among the 
people, and that though they had sometimes erred, 
they had served King William and the protestant 
cause, with undoubted fidelity and the most ardent 
zeal. When about to leave New York for Albany, 
he asked advice of his council on the subject. They 
being mostly their bitter foes, advised him to sign 
the warrant. Still he hesitated. But their ene- 
mies, thirsting for vengeance, invited him to a 
feast, and there, when intoxicated, they presented 
to him the warrant, which he signed ; and when 
he recovered his senses, the prisoners had ceased to 
live. Subsequently, on application to the king, the 
estates of Leisler and Milbourne (and it is presumed 
those of others who had been attainted with them) 
which had been confiscated, were restored to their 
heirs; their bodies were taken up, and rei'nterred 
with great pomp, in the old Dutch church, and 


their descendants were considered honored, rather 
than disgraced, by the part they acted." 

Mr. Kemble, the subject of this sketch, was born 
in the city of New York, in 1786, and graduated at 
Columbia college. His father, Peter Kemble, was 
a merchant, and intended his son for the same pro- 
fession. In 1809, Governeur went to Europe, where 
he remained traveling until 1811. Two years af- 
ter his return, he received an appointment in the 
staff of General Porter; but the peace with Great 
Britain, which took place the following winter, 
prevented his going into the field. In 1814, as as- 
sistant navy agent, he accompanied the squadron 
of Commodore Decatur to Algiers. In 1817, Mr. 
Kemble established the celebrated West Point 
foundry, at Cold Spring, for the manufacture of 
cannon, and which has since been extended to 
other objects. He continued at the head of it un- 
til 1837, when he resigned, on taking his seat in 
congress, as representative of Westchester and Put- 
nam counties. He was also reelected to the fol- 
lowing congress. While in that body, he was 
placed upon important committees, and was one. 
of the few who did a great deal of work without 
making much noise about it. He was not distin- 
guished as an orator, but as a thorough business 
member, he had but few equals. On the expira- 
tion of his second term, in 1841, he returned to the 
foundry, where he still remains. It appears that in 
this establishment over five hundred men are con- 
stantly employed, both in the iron and brass found T 
ry. It has one blast furnace, producing eight hun- 
dred and fifty tons of iron annually; three air fur- 
naces, and three cupola furnaces, melting two thou- 
sand five hundred tons of iron, and producing arti- 
cles to the amount of $280,000 annually. 

In 1846, Mr. Kemble was elected a delegate from 
Putnam county, in the convention for revising the 
constitution of the state. 



The paternal ancestors of Judge Harris, of the 
New York supreme court, were among the colonists 
who, with the celebrated Roger Williams, settled 
the Providence plantations; where, no longer fear- 
ing persecution, 

Amidst the storm they sung-, 

And the stars heard, and the sea! 
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rung, 

With the anthems of the free. 

The grandfather of the judge, Nicholas Harris, 
was a physician; and prior to the revolution, he set- 
tled in Stephentown, Rensselaer county, New York, 
where he continued to reside until his death, and 
where Frederick W. Harris, the father of Ira, was 
born. He settled upon Clark's patent, in Charles- 
ton, Montgomery county, where he married Lucy 
Hamilton, whose ancestors were from Scotland. 
Her father and two brothers, then residing at Half 
Moon, Saratoga county, served in the war of the 

Judge Harris was born at Charleston, New York, 
on the 31st of May, 1802. When six years of age, 
his parents removed to the county of Cortland, 
where he resided with them, laboring upon a farm, 
and attending school during the winter months, 
until he was seventeen. 

It is a remarkable fact, that most of the eminent 
men of this country spent their youth as tillers of 
the soil. 

"Rob Roy, upon his native heath, spoke with no 
Less truth than eloquence, when, surrounded by 
the wild beauty of the highlands, he said: 'My 
heart would shrink and wither like fern in the frost, 


were I to ]ose sight of my native hills; nor has the 
wide world a scene that would console me for the 
loss of the rocks and cairns around me.' No, it is 
far from the dust and turmoil of hurried life and 
fashion, far from mankind checked and constrained 
by customs inconsistent with nature, far from the 
glittering lustre and whirl of pleasure, that we must 
look for patriotism. But where hospitality seques- 
ters herself on the distant hills, where paternal 
love and conjugal kindness most fondly dwell; 
where vice, awed by the patriarch's frown, sinks 
his guilty eye ; where the merry dance of village 
maidens, bespeaks cheerful joy and contentment; 
there may we hope to find it." 

On attaining the age of seventeen, Ira commenc- 
ed his studies, preparatory to entering college. He 
continued at the Cortland academy until his twen- 
tieth year. He then entered Union college, where 
he graduated in 1824. After studying law one year 
in Cortland, he removed to Albany, where he com- 
pleted his course with the late Chief Justice Spen- 
cer, who was justly proud of his student. He com- 
menced the practice of his profession in 1827, and 
perhaps no man has a greater reputation at the bar. 

He has been twice married. His wives were 
both daughters of Col. Tubbs, of Homer, Cortland 
county. It was in May, 1845, when the flowers 
were bursting from the earth, and nature was put- 
ting on her smile of joy, that his second companion 
entered upon her immortal existence. 

Of the career of Judge Harris, while in the state 
senate, it is not within our province to speak. It 
may, however, be remarked, that in every country, 
and in our own especially, the more conspicuous a 
politician is rendered, by his talents, energy, deci- 
sion of character, or peculiar principles, the more 
will he become the favorite of some, and the object 
of dislike to others. No man without enemies, ever 
possessed much force of character. 





AVho, in New York, has not heard of Philip 
Hone ? His name, for many a year, has been fami- 
liar as household words. With none of the ordina- 
ry ambition of low minds, he never strove to hide 
his origin, and the means of his rise. He was born 
in the city of New York, on the 25th of October, 
1780. His parents were also natives of that city. 
Philip, his father, was of German descent, and his 
mother, whose maiden name was Esther Bourdette, 
of French extraction. The former was a working 
mechanic, and at one time followed the business of 
a house carpenter and joiner; for in those days 
these two branches of mechanical industry were 
usually united. He was highly respected as an 
honest man, and as a good whig — not in the pre- 
sent party sense of the term, but a whig of the re- 
volution. Both parents, whose names are held in 
the mosjt affectionate remembrance, in 1798 had 
reached an advanced age. But in the summer of 
that year, the sentence against the city had gone 
forth, and the " angel of the pestilence" alighted 
upon the earth. About the middle of July, the 
yellow fev r er commenced raging in almost every 
street, and by the middle of August the wail and 
lamentation spread throughout the place. There 
was a hurrying to and fro, the inhabitants vainly 
attempting to fly from destruction, followed by 
carts loaded with furniture. The city, for the most 
part, was forsaken, and Silence, with weeping eyes, 
sat in the market place. Among those who left the 
contagious air of earth for the refreshing breezes of 
heaven, were Mr. and Mrs. Hone — both dying in 
September of that year. 

At the age of seventeen, the subject of this me- 


moir went into the auction business, with his elder 
brother, John Hone, and at nineteen became a 
partner in the concern. In this occupation he was 
actively and laboriously engaged until 182.1, when 
he went to Europe. On his return, he did not re- 
sume his place in the firm. He was one of the ori- 
ginal corporators of the Delaware and Hudson canal 
company, being appointed by the legislature a com- 
missioner to open subscriptions for the stock, and 
organize the company. He was the first president 
elected by the stockholders. This office he resign- 
ed, on his being elected, in 1826, mayor of New 
York; having served the two preceding years in the 
common council, as assistant alderman of the third 
ward. During the brief space of a year's mayoral- 
ty, he was not idle in his attempts to promote the 
public good; and, judging from the newspapers of 
that period, his labors were not lightly appreciated 
by his fellow citizens. Several old residents have 
informed the writer, that the hospitalities of the city 
were never more liberally administered than during 
the mayoralty of Mr. Hone, and that he did honor 
to the office. 

His connection with the aforesaid company was 
not discontinued ; for up to the present time he has 
acted as one of the managers; with what success, 
its flourishing condition will show. 

On the establishment of the Bank for Savings, 
in the city of New York, in 1816, an institution 
which has not only increased the comforts and in- 
dependence, but raised the moral character of the 
laboring classes, the legislature appointed Mr. Hone 
one of the trustees; and in 1841, on the resignation 
of the late John Pintard, Esq., he was elected presi- 
dent of the bank; the arduous duties of which he 
has faithfully, although gratuitously, performed. 
The deep interest taken by him and his associates 
in this, as guardians and trustees of five millions of 


dollars, literally the savings of the poor, is apparent, 
and gratefully acknowledged. 

During a period of twenty years, Mr. Hone was 
governor of the New York hospital. This office he 
resigned, on being appointed president of a board 
of commissioners to inspect and control the public 
institutions (of which the hospital is one) which are 
in part supported by the bounty of the state. He 
has the honor of being president of the Clinton 
Hall association, the guardians who exercise a sort 
of parental influence over the young men consti- 
tuting the Mercantile Library association. For more 
than twenty years he has been one of the trustees 
of Columbia college, and a vestryman of Trinity 
church for the same period. These, and many 
other similar employments of a public nature, it 
may be readily imagined, occupy much of his time, 
and give him no small amount of labor. He, in 
fact, appears to be looked upon as public property, 
inasmuch as his name is frequently put down for 
such services, without the formality of asking his 
consent. To stand thus in the estimation of his 
fellow citizens, is truly an enviable position ; but it 
ought to be remembered, that his gratuitous labors 
in all these offices, entitle him to a larger share of 
gratitude than generally falls to the lot of public 

The presidency of the American mutual insur- 
ance company, he enjoyed during the brief period 
of its existence, and this afforded him a liberal 
compensation for his labor. The great fire, how- 
ever, rendered this company bankrupt, and he is 
now settling its affairs, as receiver. 

Of the political opinions of Mr. Hone, it is unne- 
cessary to speak. It will be sufficient to say, that 
he has always fearlessly avowed and zealously 
maintained them. His acts of private benevolence 
have been numerous. He is not one of those who, 
when able to relieve, send the poor empty away. 


As will readily be inferred from his length of 
days, and the amount of labor performed, he did 
not neglect, at a very early age, to provide himself 
with that solace, without which the pathway of 
this life has but few roses. In October, 1801, he mar- 
ried Miss Catharine Dunscomb, a lady descended, 
like himself, from highly respected parents, natives 
of New York. They have three sons and two 
daughters, of whom they have no reason to be 
ashamed; and the same good Providence which 
smiled upon their union, has to this moment bless- 
ed them with a happy continuance of its favor. 
The domestic concerns of a distinguished man, ge- 
nerally excite but little interest; yet to him they 
are the great and abiding sources of happiness. 
How many honest, persevering men, make the 
great mistake of living totally apart from the kindly 
sympathies of our nature. But when age comes, 
although the money bags may be full, what a yearn- 
ing comes over us for those very kindly sympathies. 
"When the strong frame is broken, the eager ener- 
gies quelled, the fierce passions still within us, and 
the strong desires sated, with what bitter regret do 
we admit that there are better things, and more en- 
during than those we have pursued. When years 
have brought on the " autumn of the heart," and 
we feel that it is time to fall away, how priceless 
become the social ties. In that hour, for what 
would we exchange the warm embrace of a belov- 
ed child, or the soft endearments of a wife, as she 
bends over the couch of death — when science dares 
no longer contend with the king of terrors, and skill 
retires from the unequal task — when she comes like 
a soft spirit, noiseless, and tearful, and holy, and 
while kissing away the clammy dews of dissolu- 
tion, she wrestles with the enemy to the last. 



It was recently remarked of this distinguished 
poet, that " he dips his pen in sunshine;" and pro- 
bably no American writer has met with more ad- 
mirers, both in his own country and in Europe, than 
Mr. Street. 

The beautiful village of Monticello, says a writer 
in Graham's Magazine, to which his parents had 
removed, from Poughkeepsie, when he was fourteen 
years of age, is situated in a picturesque region of 
wild hills, smiling valleys, and lovely streams. 
Every thing around bears impress of recent cultiva- 
tion struggling with the rudeness of primitive na- 
ture. Forests are interspersed, waving in broad 
grandeur — the plow is guided between unsightly 
stumps — in all directions the log hut shows its 
crouching roof — the fallow fires glisten in the 
spring, and the charred trees stand amidst the grain 
fields of autumn. Early association with such a 
life, gave the first scope and impulse to our poet's 
mind. In the midst of these secluded hills he be- 
held the phenomena of the seasons, as they suc- 
cessively unfolded, with the vivid beauty and ex- 
treme alternations of our climate. He saw the tro- 
phies of the hunter displayed in the streets of the 
village, and in his vigils he was often serenaded by 
the distant howl of the wolves. With a mind of 
quick and true observation, Mr. Street under such 
circumstances became a devoted student of nature, 
particularly in her wild and uncultivated aspects, 
and found a delightful resource in embodying his 
impressions in language. 

The years thus passed were eminently favorable 
to the gradual but vigorous development of his per- 
ceptions. His pursuit was that of law, which he 


studied in his father's office, at Monticello; but he 
began to write as early as the age of eleven, al- 
though his first poems appeared three years after, 
in the New York Evening Post, under the signature 
of Atticus. Among them were, "March," and "A 
Winter Noon," both exhibiting great promise. From 
this x time, in the intervals of his professional labors, 
which he still continues successfully to prosecute 
in Albany, Mr. Street has been an admired and pro- 
lific contributor to our best annuals and periodicals, 
and has delivered two very able poems before the 
Euglossian society of Geneva, and the Phi Beta 
Kappa society of Union college. In 1841, the lat- 
ter college conferred the honorary degree of A. M. 
upon him. Various compliments of a like nature 
have been paid him by several of our prominent 
literary institutions. 

Mr. Street is descended, on the father's side, from 
a good old pilgrim stock, of the state of Connecti- 
cut. His ancestor, the Rev. Nicholas Street, emi- 
grated there from England, about two hundred 
years ago, and was settled as a minister, in New 
Haven, in 1659. His son, the Rev. Samuel Street, 
was for forty-two years pastor of the first church of 
Wallingford. He was esteemed, in the quaint lan- 
guage of the day, " an heavenly man." The de- 
scendants of these two, several of whom also fol- 
lowed the sacred profession, and were among the 
early graduates of Yale, have continued, with the 
exception of the grandfather of our poet, and his 
family, to reside in Connecticut. One of them, 
Augustus Street, Esq., still lives in New Haven. 

The subject of the present notice is the son of the 
late General Randall S. Street, who resided the 
greater part of his life in the village of Poughkeep- 
sie, Dutchess county, New York. He was the dis- 
trict-attorney of the third district, under the old or- 
ganization, a major in active service in the late 
war, and subsequently a representative of the coun- 


ty in congress. Mr. Street's maternal grandfather 
was Andrew Billings, of Dutchess, a major in the 
revolutionary army, who was present at the battle 
of Quebec, where Montgomery so gloriously fell. 
His maternal grandmother was Miss Cornelia Liv- 
ingston, daughter of James Livingston, of the wide- 
ly extended family of that name, in the state of New 
York. She married first Mr. Van Kleeck, and at 
his death became the wife of Major Billings. Mr. 
Street was born in the village of Poughkeepsie, 
Dutchess county, New York, on the 18th day of 
December, 1811. He there passed through an aca- 
demical course of education, and at the age of four- 
teen, removed with his family to the village of Mon- 
ticello, Sullivan county, New York, where he con- 
tinued to live until 1839, when he removed to Al- 
bany, his present residence. In 1841, he married 
Miss Elizabeth Weed, daughter of the late Smith 
Weed, of Albany, a retired merchant of wealth and 

The Foreign Quarterly Review, which bears se- 
verely upon many other American poets, says of 
Mr. Street: " He is a descriptive poet, and at the 
head of his class. His pictures of American scene- 
ry are full of gusto and freshness; sometimes too 
wild and diffuse, but always true and healthful." 

Mr. Street, says Tuckerman, is a true Flemish 
painter, seizing upon objects in all their verisimili- 
tude. As we read him, wild flowers peer up from 
among brown leaves; the drum of the partridge, 
the ripple of waters, the flickering of autumn light, 
the sting of sleety snow, the cry of the panther, the 
roar of the winds, the melody of birds, and the odor 
of crushed pine-boughs, are present to our senses. 
In a foreign land, his poems would transport us at 
once to home. He is no second-hand limner, con- 
tent to furnish insipid copies, but draws from reali- 
ty. His pictures have the freshness of originals. 
They are graphic, detailed, never untrue, and often 


vigorous ; he is essentially an American poet. He 
is emphatically an observer. In England, we no- 
tice that these qualities have been recognized — his 
" Lost Hunter" was finely illustrated in a recent 
London periodical — thus affording the best evidence 
of the picturesque fertility of his muse. Many of 
his pieces also glow with patriotism. His " Gray 
Forest Eagle," is a noble lyric, full of spirit. His 
forest scenes are minutely, and, at the same* time, 
elaborately true. His Indian legends, and descrip- 
tions of the seasons, have a native zest, which we 
have rarely encountered. Without the classic ele- 
gance of Thomson, he excels him in graphic pow- 
er. There is nothing metaphysical in his turn of 
mind, or highly artistic in his style ; but there is an 
honest directness and cordial faithfulness about 
him, that strikes us as remarkably appropriate and 
manly. Delicacy, sentiment, ideal enthusiasm, are 
not his by nature ; but clear, bold, genial insight 
and feeling, he possesses to a rare degree — and on 
these grounds we welcome his poems, and earnest- 
ly advise our readers to peruse them attentively, 
for they worthily depict the phases of nature, as she 
displays herself in this land, in all her solemn mag- 
nificence and serene beauty, 

A complete and beautiful edition of Mr. Street's 
poems, in a large octavo volume of more than three 
hundred pages, and which has already reached a 
fifth edition, was published in the autumn of 1846, 
by Messrs. Clark & Austin, of the city of New York. 
Speaking of this collection, the Westminster (Lon- 
don) Review says: 

" It is long since we met a volume of poetry from 
which we have derived so much unmixed pleasure, 
as from the collection now before us. In a short 
and modest preface, the author tells us that his 'ear- 
ly life ' was spent in a wild and picturesque region 
in the southwestern part of New York, his native 
state. Apart from the busy haunts of mankind, his 


eye was caught by the strongly marked and beau- 
tiful scenes by which he was surrounded ; and to 
the first impressions thus made, may be attributed 
the fact, that his subjects relate so much to Nature, 
and so little to Man. Instead, therefore, of aiming 
to depict the human heart, he has endeavored to 
sketch, (however rudely and imperfectly,) the fea- 
tures of that with which he was most familiar.' 
And right eloquently does he discourse of Nature, 
her changeful features and her varied moods — as 
exhibited in his own ' America, with her rich green 
forest robe,' and many are the glowing pictures we 
would gladly transfer to our pages — did our limits 
permit — in proof of the poet's assertion, that ' Na- 
ture is Man's best teacher.' " 

" Such high praise," says the New York Courier 
and Enquirer, " falls to the lot of but few of our 
American writers, and we take pride in referring to 
the fact. Truly, Mr. Street is a painter of nature ; 
original and characteristic. He follows no one; 
he obeys the promptings of his own genius. In 
his pages we find no ideas shadowy of others — 
adumbrations as it were of thoughts not springing 
from the mind of the poet' — a mere effort of a stored 
memory; all is fresh with him — his pictures are 
drawn from the reality." 

It is understood that Mr. Street is preparing for 
the press a poem entitled, "Frontenac, or the 
Atotarho of the Iroquois: A tale of the forest, of 
1696, in ten cantos, with notes." It cannot fail to 
meet with a cordial welcome. 



Gen. Morris was born on the 10th day of Octo- 
ber, 1800, in the city of New York. In 1814, he 
commenced his career as a writer, by composing 
several songs. These youthful productions serve 
to show, that thus early in life he gave indications 
of possessing that poetic genius and talent, which 
have since placed him in the first rank, as the song 
writer of America. 

In 1817, he became an occasional contributor to 
the New York Gazette; also, to the New York 
American, while under the editorial charge of 
Johnstone Verplanck. He continued to write for 
these and other papers until 1822. His early lite- 
rary efforts were chiefly anonymous, and their au- 
thorship only became known when he began to 
take his position, by general consent, as a star in 
the literary hemisphere. 

In 1822, Mr. Morris, in conjunction with the late 
Samuel Woodworth, established the New York Mir- 
ror — a paper which speedily acquired, and main- 
tained during its continuance, a high character, 
and a popularity seldom equaled in the annals of 
periodical literature in this country. He continued 
associated with Mr. Woodworth one year, when he 
became sole editor and proprietor. 

In 1825, he wrote the drama of " Brier Cliff;" a 
play, in five acts, founded upon the events of the 
American revolution. So popular did this become, 
that he received for it $3,500. It has never been 
published. Prior, and subsequent, to this period, 
the pen of Mr. Morris was actively engaged upon 
various literary and dramatic works. He wrote a 
number of the "Welcomes to Lafayette," and 


songs and ballads, which were universally popular, 
besides many prologues and addresses. 

Mr. Morris continued the sole editor of the New 
York Mirror, from the period of his separation from 
Mr. Woodworth, until 1830, when Theodore S. Fay 
became assistant editor; and shortly after, N. P. 
Willis was added to the editorial department. 
Popular as had been this paper before, this rare 
combination of talent was destined to, and did, give 
to it an additional impetus, that increased its al- 
ready wide-spread popularity, until its circulation 
reached 12,000 copies. This is not surprising, 
when it is considered that the editors' department 
was conducted by such eminent talent, and so pe- 
culiarly qualified for a work of that character, and 
that the paper numbered among its contributors so 
bright a galaxy of names as those of Paulding, Bry- 
ant, Halleck, Sheridan Knowles, Marryatt, Tyrone 
Power, Leggett, Sprague, Hillhouse, Fanny Kem- 
ble, Eliza Cook, Mrs. Embury, Mrs. Thayer, besides 
many other popular writers of the day. The Mirror 
gave a new impulse to the literary taste, and ele- 
vated the standard by which to estimate that class 
of periodical literature. Not merely were the ta- 
lents of Mr. Morris brought into requisition by this 
publication, but also his skill and taste, in its style. 
He was the first, in this country, who published en- 
gravings on wood and steel, and music, in period- 
icals; which, in connection with the elegant typo- 
graphical execution, rendered the Mirror pleasing 
to the eye, as well as food for the mind. As editor 
of this paper, he conferred great and lasting benefit 
upon arts and artists, and youthful writers, by his 
tact, his liberality, the superiority of his judgment, 
and the vigor of his abilities. It has been justly 
said, by one who was contemporaneous with him 
during this period, that he, by "perseverance and 
address, disciplined a corps of youthful writers, in 
the presence of a heavy and constant fire from the 


batteries of foreign criticism" — that he possessed 
" the rare combination, so valuable in dealing with 
the numerous aspirants in authorship, with whom his 
position brought him in contact ; of a quick, true eye 
to discern, in the modesty of some nameless manu- 
script, the future promise of a power hardly yet con- 
scious of itself, a discretion to guide by some advice, 
and a generosity to aid with the most important kind 
of assistance — the firm and open temper which his 
example tended to inspire into the relation of lite- 
rary men with one another, throughout the land — 
and more than all, perhaps, by the harmony and 
union, of such inappreciable value, especially in the 
beginning of national efforts, between the sister 
arts of writing, music, painting, and dramatic exhi- 
bition, which the singular variety and discursive- 
ness of his intellectual sympathies led him con- 
stantly to maintain and vindicate." Many, whose 
attention will perhaps be arrested by this sketch, 
will cordially respond to these sentiments. 

Mr. Morris, early in life, enroled himself as a pri- 
vate, in the first company of the third regiment of 
the New York state artillery — a part of that admira- 
ble military organization composed of the uniform 
companies in the city of New York. From the 
ranks he rose, from grade to grade, until, on the 
29th of May, 1837, he was duly commissioned as 
brigadier-general. This appointment he still holds. 

The financial storm which, about the year 1837, 
and 1838, rode over the country, prostrating every 
interest, and wasting all classes, visited even the 
poet and editor. In consequence of severe losses, 
sustained chiefly by endorsements for friends, the 
New York Mirror passed out of the hands of Gen. 
Morris, and in 1843, its existence ceased. 

In 1842, he wrote an opera for Mr. C. E. Horn, 
called the " Maid of Saxony," which has not been 
published. It was performed "with great success, 
at the Park theatre. The author's benefit was at- 


tended by the talent and beau monde of the city of 
New York. The press of the city, generally, award- 
ed to this opera high commendation. 

From the period when Gen. Morris commenced 
his career as a writer, his pen has been constantly 
employed in writing poems, songs, ballads and 
prose sketches. In 1840, the Appleton's published 
an edition of his poems, beautifully illustrated by 
Weir and Chapman; and in 1842, Paine & Burgess 
published his songs and ballads. They were favor- 
ably noticed by the press, and these and other edi- 
tions have large sales. A portion of his prose writ- 
ings, under the title of " The Little Frenchman and 
his Water Lots," were published by Lea & Blanch- 
ard, which edition has been followed by others, en- 
larged by the author. 

Gen. Morris has edited a number of works; 
among them are — " The Atlantic Club Book," pub- 
lished by the Harpers; the " Song Writers of Ame- 
rica," by Linen & Ferrin; "National Melodies," by 
Hall & Davis; and, in connection with Mr. Willis, 
the " Prose and Poetry of Europe and America;" 
a standard work of great value. 

In 1844, in connection with Mr. Willis, he estab- 
lished a beautiful weekly paper, called the New 
Mirror, which, in consequence of the cover and 
engravings, was charged by the post office depart- 
ment, a postage equal to the subscription price; and 
not being able to obtain a just reduction from Mr. 
WicklifTe, then postmaster-general," the proprietor 
discontinued it after a year and a half, notwith- 
standing it had attained a circulation of 10,000 
copies. The Evening Mirror was next commenced, 
and continued for one year, by Messrs. Morris and 
Willis, when they disposed of it, to the present pro- 

A few months after withdrawing from the Even- 
ing Mirror, Gen. Morris began the publication of 
the National Press and Home Journal; but as 


many mistook its object, from its name, the first 
part of the title was discontinued, and in Novem- 
ber, 1846, Mr. Willis having again joined his old 
friend and associate, appeared the first number of 
the Home Journal — a work which is edited with 
great taste and spirit, and which has an extended 

Did our limits permit us to make selections from 
the poetic gems of Gen. Morris, it would be a work of 
supererogation. Where would be the use of repeat- 
ing that which has already floated on the breath 
of music, through the length and breadth, not only 
of our own land, but of Europe. 

Willis, writing to a friend, thus speaks of Morris: 

" It may, or may not, be one secret of his popu- 
larity, but it is a truth — that Morris's heart is at the 
level of most other people's, and his poetry flows 
out by that door. He stands breast high in the 
common stream of sympathy, and the fine oil of 
his poetic feeling goes from him upon an element 
it is its nature to float upon, and which carries it 
safe to other bosoms, with little need of deep div- 
ing or high flying. His sentiments are simple, 
honest, truthful, and familiar ; his language is pure, 
and eminently musical, and he is prodigally full of 
the poetry of every-day feeling. These are days 
when poets try experiments ; and while others suc- 
ceed by taking the world's breath away with flights 
and plunges, Morris uses his feet, to walk quietly 
with nature. Ninety-nine people in a hundred, 
taken as they come in the census, would find more 
to admire in Morris's songs than in the writings of 
any other American poet ; and that is a parish in 
the poetical episcopate, well worthy a wise man's 
nurture and prizing." 

Gen. Morris is still in the prime and vigor of life, 
and it is not unlikely that the public will yet have 
much to admire from his pen, and which will, with- 
out doubt, Jift him still higher in the niche of fame 


His residence is chiefly at Under Cliff, his country 
seat, on the banks of the Hudson, near Cold 
Springs, surrounded by the most lovely and beauti- 
ful scenery in nature, and 

" Where Hudson's wave, o'er silvery sands, 
Winds through the hills afar;" 

which cannot fail to keep the muse alive within 
him, and tune the minstrel to further and still 
higher efforts. 

Although he possesses abilities which eminently 
qualify him for public station, his literary taste and 
habits have, in spite of the strenuous solicitations 
of his friends, led him to prefer the retirement of 
private life. This, however, does not prevent his 
taking an active interest in all questions of public 
good, and the city of New York is greatly indebted 
to his vigorous aid for many of her most beautiful 
and permanent improvements. 

We cannot close this sketch without adverting 
to the following incident, which recently occurred 
in the British house of commons : 

Mr. Cagley, a member from Yorkshire, concluded 
a long speech in favor of protection, by quoting 
nearly the whole of " Woodman, spare that tree !" 
(which was received with great applause,) the 
" tree," according to Mr. Cagley, being the " con- 
stitution," and Sir Robert Peel the " woodman," 
about to cut it down. 

What poet could desire a more gratifying com- 
pliment ? 



Was born in Cherry Valley, Otsego county, New 
York, on the 10th day of October, 1806. His an- 
cestors came to this country, from the North of Ire- 
land, where some branch of the family had remov- 
ed from Argyleshire, Scotland, during the persecu- 
tions of the 17th century, in the times when the 
Stuarts brought to the block, in Edinburgh, two 
of the clan, a marquis and an earl of Argyle, for 
tlieir attachment to the reformed religion, and op- 
position to the cruel treatment of their countrymen 
by the profligate associates of Charles II., and 
James II. The Campbells of Scotland, from 
whom the subject of this notice is descended, trace 
their genealogy back, in an unbroken line, for the 
period of eight hundred years, and have been, at 
different times, connected, by marriage, with the 
kings of Scotland. 

Mr. Campbell, during a tour recently made in 
Europe, visited Scotland. He was there at the re- 
ception of the queen, which brought together all 
the Scottish clans, among them the one from which 
he descends, and received a cordial welcome. At 
a dinner given by the Celtic society, composed of 
all the various tartans of the Scottish clans, upon 
the beautiful lawn near the castle of the duke of 
Argyle, to which he was an invited guest, the fol- 
lowing interesting incident occurred, illustrative 
of the Scottish character: 

The president of the society, in allusion to him, 
stated there was one among them who had long 
been a wanderer from the Highland flock; indeed, 
one who now sets his foot upon the soil for the first 
time — whose ancestors, nearly a century and a half 
ago, were driven out of Scotland by persecution, for 


conscience sake, and who is the first of his imme- 
diate race who has returned to his ancestral land— 
and, belonging by blood, as he does, to a very old 
branch of the powerful clan of Argyle, he trusted 
the society would adopt the motion which he would 
make, which was, that this gentleman should be 
elected an honorary member of the society. The 
proposition was adopted by acclamation, and his 
health drank with Highland honors: each chief- 
tain standing, with his left foot upon his chair, and 
the right resting on the edge of the table, carried 
his glass slowly around his head, with his right 
hand, repeating after the president, in Gaelic, neish, 
neish, sheet orra neish, (now, now, here is to him 
now,) after which the old piper of the marquis of 
Breadalbane, who had been* an attentive listener, 
struck up the stirring tune of the clans, sung at the 
gathering in 1745, "Oh, you are long in coming, 
but you are welcome," &c. 

The Campbells were among the early pioneers 
in the settlement of the state of New York. James 
Campbell, the great-grandfather of the subject of 
this sketch, removed, in 1741, to Cherry Valley, 
from Londonderry, New Hampshire, where he, with 
several others, had, several years anterior, first set- 
tled, on arriving from the north of Ireland. The spot 
where Cherry Valley is now located, was then an 
entire wilderness. With the exception of a few 
German families, scattered along the borders of the 
Mohawk, the whole country, known as the great 
west, was a virgin forest ; indeed, the whole coun- 
try west of Cherry Valley, reaching on to the Paci- 
fic ocean, with the exception of a few scattered set- 
tlers, who had intermarried with the red men, and 
introduced some slight features of civilization, was 
an almost unbroken wilderness. 

Col. Samuel Campbell, well known as one of the 
patriots of the revolution, was a son of James 
Campbell, and in his third year when he came 


with his father to reside at this place. During the 
French war, he was an active and efficient citizen, 
and was of essential service to the then government, 
in assisting in the transportation of supplies to the 
western ports. At the commencement of the war 
of the revolution, he espoused, with great ardor, 
the cause of the colonies, was an officer in the army 
of the United States, and rendered his country im- 
portant aid. A garrison was erected upon his farm, 
and for some time kept there. The exposed situa- 
tion of the frontier settlements, led to frequent at- 
tacks by the combined tory and Indian forces, who 
ravaged the borders, and committed, whenever op- 
portunity offered, the most barbarous atrocities; in 
fact, in the language of the late De Witt Clinton: 
" Their deeds are inscribed, with the scalping knife 
and tomahawk, in characters of blood, on the fields 
of Wyoming and Cherry Valley, and on the banks 
of the Mohawk." In many of these skirmishes and 
actions, Col. Campbell bore a conspicuous and ho- 
norable part. He especially distinguished himself 
in the battle of Oriskany, on the 6th of August, 
1777, under Gen. Herkimer; and when the brave 
Col. Cox fell, in that sanguinary contest, he took 
command of the regiment, and brought off the rem- 
nant of it, at the close of that disastrous engage- 
ment. At the massacre in, and conflagration of, 
Cherry Valley, in November, 1778, in consequence 
of being an active partizan, he suffered severely. 
His property was destroyed, and his wife and four 
children were taken prisoners by the Indians. Mrs. 
Campbell was marched, at that inclement season 
of the year, on foot, to what is now known as Tio- 
ga point, in Pennsylvania, and thence by the head 
of Seneca lake, to the Indian castle, about two 
miles from where the village of Geneva now 
stands. Here she spent the winter, in an Indian 
village, but was treated with comparative kindness 
by her captors — but still suffered severely for the 


want of clothing. Towards spring, the British offi- 
cers in garrison at Fort Niagara, learning that there 
was a lady who was a prisoner at the castle, near 
the outlet of Seneca lake, sent a messenger with 
female clothing, and provision, to her relief. In 
the spring she was taken to Fort Niagara, and ran- 
somed from the Indians, and from thence sent to 

Governor Clinton and General Schuyler made 
special efforts for her liberation, and at length pre- 
vailed upon the British authorities, after she had 
been in captivity two years, to exchange her for a 
Mrs. Butler and her children, who had fallen into 
the hands of the Americans. She returned to 
Cherry Valley at the close of the war, and had the 
pleasure of entertaining, under her own roof, Gen. 
Washington, Gov. Clinton, and other distinguished 
men. She is said to have possessed great fortitude, 
decision, clearness of perception, and a native dig- 
nity that never failed to elicit commendation from 
those brought in contact with her. She was exem- 
plary as a wife, a mother, and a Christian, and dis- 
charged her duties in these several relations in a 
manner worthy of imitation. 

After the close of the war, Col. Campbell was 
elected to the state legislature. He died in Sep- 
tember, 1824, at the advanced age of eighty-six 
years. His brother, Robert Campbell, was killed 
while fighting bravely for his country, in the battle 
of Oriskany. 

William Campbell, the eldest son of Col. Camp- 
bell, who was taken captive with his mother, was 
a highly useful and distinguished citizen of this 
state. He succeeded the late Simeon De Witt, 
as surveyor-general of the state of New York, was 
several times elected a member of the legislature, 
and held other important public stations. He died 
at his residence, in Cherry Valley, a few years 
since, aged 77 years. 


The father of the subject of this biography is 
James S , a son of Col. Campbell. He is still living 
on the homestead of his father. He married a 
daughter of Col. Eiderkin, of Windham, Connecti- 

William W. Campbell was early placed at the 
academy in Cherry Valley, where he studied, pre- 
paratory to entering upon is collegiate course. He 
entered Union college, at Schenectady, in his nine- 
teenth year, and graduated at twenty-one. Upon 
leaving college, he removed to the city of New 
York, and entered the law office of Chancellor 
Kent, to qualify himself for the bar. 

In 1831 and 1832, he was a member of the House 
of Debate, and the New York Young Men's Socie- 
ty, established for literary objects, and of the last 
named society he was corresponding secretary. At 
this time he began to give indication of talents of 
a high order, and which have since given to 
him a prominent position, as a writer of no ordi- 
nary merit. In the fall of 1830, a society was 
formed in the village of Cherry Valley, for literary 
purposes generally, but especially for collecting 
facts illustrative of the natural and civil history of 
that section of the country. Having been request- 
ed to collect and embody the events connected with 
it, he conceived a design of writing a history of that 
town. But, upon examination, finding its revolu- 
tionary history so intimately connected with the 
whole valley of the Mohawk, he abandoned his 
limited intention, and began a history of Tryon 
county — a county which had been taken from that 
of Albany, in 1772, and named after William Try- 
on, then Governor of the province. In 1784, its 
name was changed to Montgomery. When formed, 
it comprised all that part of the state of New York 
lying west of a line running north and south nearly 
through the centre line of the present county of 
Schoharie. It therefore constituted a section of the 


state which had been the scene of some of the most 
thrilling and important events which marked the 
revolutionary drama, and rich in the historical as- 
sociations of that eventful period. In the latter 
part of 1831, Mr. Campbell completed this work, 
and the same year it was published by the Harpers, 
under the title of " The Annals of Tryon county, or 
the Border Warfare." This book, indicating great 
research, and containing much valuable historical 
matter, and many interesting incidents, woven to- 
gether by the pen of the historian, in a style, ear- 
nest, truthful and eloquent, at once established his 
reputation as a scholar and a writer of great merit. 

Notwithstanding Mr. Campbell had to contend 
with the eminent talent at the bar of New York, 
where he commenced his career, and against a 
competition startling to the young tyro, he soon ac- 
quired a good practice, and a standing as a lawyer 
of high legal abilities, and of sound judgment ; and 
more than all, in importance to the advocate, a 
reputation as a safe adviser. 

In August, ls33, he married a daughter of Col. 
Samuel Starkweather, a lady distinguished for her 
personal'attraction, accomplished mind, and agree- 
able manners. 

In February, 1839, Mr. Campbell delivered a lec- 
ture before the Historical society, on the life and 
military services of Gen. James Clinton — a subject 
with which his previous historical investigations 
had made him entirely familiar. On the 4th of 
July, 1840, he pronounced the address, at the cen- 
tennial celebration of the citizens of Cherry Valley. 
This address contained many valuable historical 
facts connected with the early settlement of that 
town. It was in every respect an able production, 
and greatly added to the reputation which he al- 
ready enjoyed as a literary man and a public speak- 
er. It was delivered to the largest audience thai 


probably ever assembled at that place. The lec- 
ture and address have both been published. 

Enjoying the personal friendship of Gov. Seward, 
who had graduated about the same time, at Union 
college, the latter, while at the head of the state 
government, conferred upon Mr. Campbell the of- 
fice of master in chancery, for the city of New 
York; and subsequently, upon a vacancy occuring 
upon the bench of the court of general sessions of 
that city, tendered to him that place, which honor, 
although highly appreciated, was declined, from a 
preference he entertained for the appointment he 
then held. In 1342, he was appointed one of the 
commissioners in bankruptcy, for the southern dis- 
trict of New York. The office of master he held 
until the democratic party came into power again, 
in 1844, and that of commissioner until the repeal 
of the bankrupt law. 

In 1843, the native American party was organ- 
ized in the city of New York; and in 1844, Mr. 
Campbell, although a decided whig, having indi- 
cated a concurrence in the leading measures of the 
new party, was brought forward by them as a can- 
didate for congress, in the sixth congressional dis- 
trict of the state. Ely Moore was nominated by 
the democrats, and Hamilton Fish by the whigs. 
But, Mr. Campbell being well known as an ardent 
supporter of Henry Clay, the whigs did not press 
their candidate. Under these circumstances, by 
the united vote of the whigs and natives, Mr. Camp- 
bell was elected a representative in the 29th con- 
gress. Soon after taking his seat, he called the at- 
tention of that body to the necessity of a reform in 
our consular system, and as a member of the select 
committee on that subject, he made an able report. 
Upon all great questions affecting the interests of 
the city of New York, he was an active and able 
coadjutor. Upon the Oregon question, the Mexican 
war, and other subjects then in agitation, he took a 


prominent part, uniformly voting with the whig 
party, in their leading measures, although he did 
not lose sight of the interests of the party who no- 
minated him. 

In 1846, Mr. Campbell was again nominated by 
his party, but on this occasion the whigs, although 
well satisfied with his course in congress, resolved, 
at all hazards, upon breaking down the native Ame- 
rican organization. Hence Mr. Campbell was op- 
posed by both whig and democratic competitors, 
and his defeat became inevitable. 

In July, 1845, Mr. Campbell, as the appointed 
orator, delivered the annual address before the Phi 
Beta Kappa society of Union college. It was high- 
ly eulogized by the press. 

As a public speaker, Mr. Campbell never fails to 
interest. His language is chaste and eloquent, and 
he invariably impresses his audience with a con- 
viction of his sincerity. Upon the numerous able 
addresses which he has on various occasions deli- 
vered, by request, before literary and other societies, 
our limits will not permit us to dwell. Still in the 
prime of life, he enjoys the esteem of all who know 
him, and none can speak of him, but as a firm and 
true friend. 



One day, as Sir William Jones and Thomas Day 
were removing some books, in the chambers of the 
former, a large spider dropped upon the floor, upon 
which Sir William, with some warmth, said : " Kill 
that spider, Day— kill that spider!" "No," said 
Mr. Day, with that coolness for which he was so 
conspicuous, "I will not kill that spider, Jones; I 
do not know that I have a right to kill that spider ! 
Suppose when you are going in a coach to West- 
minster hall, a superior being, who, perhaps, may 
have as much power over you, as you have over 
this insect, should say to his companion : ' kill that 
lawyer; kill that lawyer!' How should you like 
that, Jones ? And I am sure, to most people, a law- 
yer is more repulsive than a spider." 

How justly soever Mr. Day's remark may apply 
to lawyers in general, Judge Parker is a remarkable 
exception; for his manners, both on the bench and 
in the social circle, are ever such as to remind us 
of the passage of holy writ, where it is said, "jus- 
tice and mercy met and kissed each other." 

This gentleman, who holds so conspicuous a 
place among the distinguished men of the empire 
state, was born at Sharon in the parish of Ells- 
worth, Litchfield county, Connecticut, on the second 
of June, 1807. It has been remarked, that there is 
no neighborhood in the United States, of the same 
limits and population, which has been the birth- 
place, or the home, of so many eminent men, as 
the county of Litchfield. It is a region of hard 
hills and rocky farms, contiguous to no commercial 
cities, and crossed by no important lines of travel — 
but its homesteads, so quiet and retired, have been 
favorite haunts of the genii. Here the bracing ail 


of the highlands, and the habits of industry and 
self-dependence, formed from childhood, have given 
strong lungs and vigorous frames, expanded souls, 
and spirits full of energy, to a hundred men, where 
the influences of city life will scarcely endow with 
the same gifts a single one. 

The father of Judge Parker, was the Rev. Daniel 
Parker, who was the pastor of the congregational 
church of Ellsworth parish. His ancestors were of 
the good old puritan stock of New England, and 
had resided in the western part of Connecticut for 
several generations. His paternal and maternal 
grandfathers, Amasa Parker and Thomas Fenn, 
both served in the revolutionary war, and were re- 
spected for their integrity and moral virtues. The 
latter was for twenty years a representative in the 
state legislature, and a magistrate. They lived and 
died at Watertown, in that state. 

The Rev. Daniel Parker was a graduate of Yale 
college. He married Miss Anna Fenn, daughter of 
Thomas Fenn, Esq., and was for almost twenty 
years a settled minister at Ellsworth. During that 
period he established, and had charge of, an acade- 
my at that place, which acquired a high reputation, 
and in which many young men, since distinguished 
in many parts of the Union, were educated. 

In 1816, the reverend gentleman removed to 
Greenville, Greene county, New York, and took 
charge of the academy at that place. It was at 
that place, that the subject of this memoir, then 
only nine years of age, commenced the study of the 
Latin language. After remaining there two years, 
he spent a like period at the Hudson academy, and 
subsequently three years in the city of New York. 

Judge Parker was the eldest son, and, ever eager 
to learn, pains were taken with his education; his 
father devoting the most constant attention to it, 
and securing him the instruction of the most care- 
ful instructors and professors in the country. 


As all those acquainted with him may readily 
infer, no man was ever more completely and critic- 
ally instructed, in a course of classical education, 
than himself. To a thorough knowledge of the 
dead languages, was added . an acquaintance with 
modern tongues, and belles-lettres, as well as the 
more severe studies of mathematics. 

At the age of sixteen, he had completed the usual 
course of collegiate study, although not within the 
walls of a college, being precocious in intellect, as 
well as in stature. 

In May, 1823, as its principal, he took charge of 
the Hudson academy, an incorporated institution, 
subject to the visitation of the regents. During the 
four years which he remained at its head, the aca- 
demy enjoyed a high reputation, and was in a most 
nourishing condition. His age was not then ma- 
ture, and his pupils, scattered over the state, were 
afterwards surprised to learn, that their preceptor 
was younger than many of themselves. During 
this time, the argument was used by the academy 
at Kinderhook, a rival institution, that the principal 
of the Hudson academy was not a graduate of a 
college. To obviate any such objection, Mr. Parker 
availed himself of the opportunity afforded by a 
short vacation, to present himself at Union college, 
in order to take an examination for the entire 
course, and to graduate with the class. This he 
did, and took his degree of bachelor of arts, in July, 

During the latter part of his term at the Hudson 
academy, he was entered as a student at law, in 
the office of that sound jurist, John W. Edmonds, 
then residing at Hudson, and since circuit judge of 
the first circuit, and justice of the supreme court. , 

At the age of twenty, in the spring of 1827, hav- 
ing resigned his charge, Mr. Parker retired to Delhi, 
Delaware county, for the purpose of pursuing his 
legal studies, in the office of his uncle, Col. Amasa 


Parker, a practising lawyer of eminence at that 
place. He continued there until his admission to 
the bar, at the October term, in 1828. He then 
formed a law partnership with his uncle, which 
]asted over fifteen years, during which period they 
were engaged in a most extensive practice. 

Immediately on his admission, he entered the 
higher courts, as an advocate; and, taking upon 
himself that branch of the business, he was for 
many years much abroad, at the neighboring cir- 
cuits, and at the terms of the common law and 
equity courts. 

Delaware county having for forty years been 
strongly democratic in its politics, Mr. Parker was 
early in life engaged in the great political struggles 
of the day. In the fall of 1833, at the age of twen- 
ty-six, he was elected to the state legislature, where 
he served on the committee of ways and means, 
and in other important positions, during the winter 
of 1834. In 1835, he was elected by the legisla- 
ture a regent of the New York state university' — a 
rare honor for so young a man — this distinction 
never having been before conferred upon one of his 

At the age of twenty-nine, he was elected a mem- 
ber of the twenty-fifth congress, to represent the 
congressional district composed of the counties 
of Delaware and Broome. It is here worthy of re- 
mark, that at both elections he ran without opposi- 
tion, the opposite party deeming it useless to bring 
a whig candidate into the field against him. 

While in congress, he served upon several im- 
portant committees, and his speeches, most of 
which the writer heard, were upon the public lands, 
the Mississippi election question, the Cilley duel, 
and other great subjects of the day, all of which 
may be found in the Congressional Globe. His 
speech on the knotty points involved in the Missis- 
sippi election case, was pronounced, by men of both 


parties, to be one of the best logical speeches they 
had heard for many years. He untwisted the 
sophisms which had been mixed tip with the ques- 
tion at issue, and presented it in so clear a light, 
that conscientious members, who had in vain been 
trying to comprehend the point in dispute, could 
now vote understandingly upon it. 

In the fall of 1839, he was a candidate for the 
office of state senator, in the third senatorial dis- 
trict. The canvass was a very excited one, owing 
to the fact that a United States senator was to be 
elected by the next legislature, in the place of Mr. 
Tallmadge. Very great exertions were made, and 
about fifty thousand votes were polled. The result 
was, the election of the whig candidate, the late 
Gen. Root, by a very small majority. 

This defeat of Mr. Parker was, without doubt, a 
fortunate event for his professional reputation, as it 
enabled him to prosecute the practice of his profes- 
sion with renewed energy and success, until he 
was appointed to the bench, on the 6th of March, 

On accepting, with hesitation, the appointment 
of circuit judge, he repaired immediately to the city 
of Albany, where he continued to reside during his 
term of office. The duties of the office were very 
laborious, and required the most constant applica- 
tion. As circuit judge in the common law courts, 
and as vice chancellor in the court of equity, the 
whole of his time was occupied, and heavy respon- 
sibilities devolved upon him. 

In addition to the ordinary business of his dis- 
trict, the anti-rent difficulties added much to his 
labors. He commenced his civil calenders with 
questions of title, and at the oyer and terminer, the 
most painful duties were imposed upon him, in 
punishing violations of' the public peace. His la- 
bors at the Delaware circuit, in 1845, will not soon 
be forgotten. He found in jail about a hundred 


and ten persons, under indictment. At the end of 
three weeks, the jail was cleared, every case having 
been disposed of, by conviction or otherwise. Two 
were sentenced to death, for the murder of Sheriff 
Steele, and about fifteen to confinement, for various 
periods, in the state prison : for the lighter offences, 
fines were in several cases imposed. The course 
pursued by Judge Parker, met with general appro- 
bation. After the adjournment of the court, the 
military force was discharged, peace was restored, 
and in no instance has resistance to process since 
occurred in that county. 

No criminal trials in the state were ever sur- 
rounded with such difficulties, or more imperiously 
required the exercise of firmness, caution, energy, 
and promptness. The following summer the de- 
gree of LL. D. was conferred upon Judge Parker 
by Geneva college. 

On the 27th of August, 1834, Judge Parker was 
united in marriage with Miss Harriet L. Roberts, of 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by whom he has had 
six children. The writer has heard her kindness 
to the suffering poor, spoken of with heart-felt grati- 

The judge received from his father no patrimony, 
except his classical education. The means of ac- 
quiring his professional education, he obtained by 
his own industry, as a teacher. He has always ap- 
plied himself with great industry to his profession, 
and has ever relied on his own energy for success. 
By these exertions he has been able to surmount 
every obstacle, and to attain his present elevated 
position. His term of office as circuit judge, ter- 
minated with the constitution, and at the first pe- 
riodical election held under the new constitution, 
the little boy who commenced learning Latin at 
nine years of age, was elected "justice of the su- 
preme court of the state of New York." 

His election is considered as a most triumphant 


vindication of the policy of committing the choice 
of judicial officers to the people. He was elected 
inrfhe third judicial district, although in the seven 
counties which compose it, an adverse influence 
had been at work. It was thought that great pre- 
judice existed against him, on account of the du- 
ties his office compelled him to perform at the Dela- 
ware trials — yet his majority over the opposing can- 
didate was nearly six thousand, embracing many 
of all parties, who came forward to cast their influ- 
ence in favor of a candidate who had kindly, but 
firmly, enforced the execution of the law. 

We will conclude this sketch in the words of a 
distinguished senator, who, in a recent speech, al- 
luding to Judge Parker, said : " every one will ad- 
mit that he is one of the ablest judges this state has 


Was born at Schenectady, New York, on the 
11th of August, 1791. . His parents were highly re- 
spectable. According to the National Picture Gal- 
lery, his grandfather was the Rev. Theodoric B,o- 
meyn, D. D., one of the professors of theology in 
the reformed Dutch church, and one of its most dis- 
tinguished ornaments. The rudiments of Dr. Beck's 
education were received at the grammar school in 
his native place, and in 1803 he entered Union col- 
lege, an institution which had been established a 
few years previously, principally through the active 
exertions of his grandfather. He graduated in 1807, 
and commenced the study of medicine under the 
late Drs. McClelland & Low, of Albany. His me- 
dical education was afterwards completed under 
the care of the celebrated Dr. Hosack, of New York, 


in which place he attended the lectures of the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, and in 1811, ob- 
tained from that institution the degree of doctor of 
medicine. On that occasion, he wrote and published 
an inaugural dissertation on insanity. He im- 
mediately afterwards commenced the practice of 
his profession in the city of Albany. In 1815, he 
was appointed professor of the institutes of medi- 
cine, and lecturer on medical jurisprudence, in the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, of the western 
district of the state of New York, and is now pro- 
fessor of materia medica in the Albany Medical 

In 1817, owing to a growing fondness for literary 
pursuits, he abandoned the practical exercise of his 
profession, and accepted the situation of principal 
of the Albany academy. Under his superintend- 
ence, this academy attained a high and deserved 
rank among the literary institutions of our country. 

It is as an author, however, that Prof. Beck is 
mainly distinguished. In 1813, he delivered the 
annual address before the Society of Arts, of Albany, 
on the mineralogical resources of the state. This, 
the earliest systematic account of the mineral 
wealth of our country, received high commenda- 
tion. In 1823, he published, in two octavo volumes, 
Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, which at the 
time attracted great attention, and has since con- 
tinued a standard work on the subject of which it 
treats. In foreign countries, the merit of this work 
has been duly appreciated, and magnanimously ac- 
knowledged ; and in the various medical colleges of 
Great Britain it has, for years, been recommended 
to students, by professors. In 1828, it was trans- 
lated into German, by Weimar, and has been favor- 
ably received in the various parts of the continent 
of Europe. 

Prof. Beck is one of the founders and active sup- 
porters of the Albany institute, a scientific and lite- 


raiy association. Of his personal qualities, it is 
sufficient to say, that he is universally respected 
and esteemed. Unpretending in his manners, and 
studious in his habits, the voice of praise has not 
rendered him arrogant and indolent, and the sci- 
ence of his country has yet much to hope from his 
labors and learning. 


It has been truly observed, that there can hard- 
ly be a more sublime spectacle for our admira- 
tion, than that of a young man, who, urged on by 
the impulse of struggling intellect, starts boldly 
from the ranks of obscurity, determined to battle 
his way through every obstacle to honor and re- 

Of such is the talented subject of this sketch, 
who by his own well directed energy, became an 
eminent lawyer of the city of New York, where, in 
addition to other offices, he was appointed recorder 
of the court of general sessions. He is now a re- 
presentative of the state of New York in the thir- 
tieth congress, in which body, with his rare business 
talents, he can not fail to render important service 
to his country. Unlike many others, he does not 
weaken his arguments by a multitude of words, but 
invariably comes to the point at once. With such 
men in the national legislature, the business of the 
country would never suffer from delay. Quick, 
ready and ardent in the pursuit of any thing on 
which his mind is set, Mr. Tallmadge has made 
rapid and solid advancement in almost every branch 
of useful knowledge. 




This celebrated gentleman, says Poe, in his capa- 
city of physician and medical lecturer, is far too 
well known to need comment. He was the pupil, 
friend, and partner of Hosack — the pupil of Aber- 
nethy — connected in some measure with every 
thing that has been well said and done, medically, 
in America. As a medical essayist, he has always 
commanded the highest respect and veneration. 
Among the points he has made, at various times, 
may be mentioned his Anatomy of Drunkenness; 
his Views of the Asiatic Cholera; his Analysis of 
the Avon Waters of the state ; his establishment of 
the comparative immunity of the constitution from 
a second attack of yellow fever; and his patholo- 
gical propositions on the changes wrought in the 
system by specific poisons through their assimila- 
tion — propositions remarkably sustained and en- 
forced by recent discoveries of Liebig. 

In unprofessional letters, Dr. Francis has also ac- 
complished much, although necessarily in a discur- 
sive manner. His Biography of Chancellor Living- 
ston, his Horticultural Discourse, his Discourse at 
the opening of the new hall of the New York Ly- 
ceum of Natural History, are (each in its way) mo- 
dels of fine writing, just sufficiently toned down by 
an indomitable common sense. 

Dr. Francis is one of the old spirits of the New 
York Historical society. His philanthropy, his ac- 
tive, untiring beneficence, will forever render his 
name a household word among the truly Christian 
of heart. His professional services and his purse 
are always at the command of the needy; few of 
our wealthiest men have ever contributed to the 


relief of distress so bountifully — none certainly with 
greater readiness or warmer sympathy. 

His person and manner are richly peculiar. He 
is short and stout, probably five feet five in height, 
limbs of great muscularity and strength, the whole 
frame indicating prodigious vitality and energy — 
the latter is, in fact, the leading trait in his charac- 
ter. His head is large, massive — the features in 
keeping; complexion dark florid; eyes piercingly 
bright; mouth exceedingly mobile and expressive ; 
hair gray, and worn in matted locks about the neck 
and shoulders — eyebrows to correspond, jagged and 
ponderous. His age is about fifty-eight. His gene- 
ral appearance is such as to arrest attention. He 
is married. 


The Right Reverend John Hughes, one of the 
catholic Bishops, of New York, or, as his title says, 
bishop of Bascepolis, is a proper sample of repub- 
licanism in religion — of the moral worth of man 
over the fortuitous circumstances of birth. Born 
in an humble rank of life, by his own talents he 
has raised himself to the high position he now oc- 
cupies in the catholic church. 

Bishop Hughes is a native of the south of Ire- 
land, and of humble origin. He came to this coun- 
try in early life. He was educated at the catholic 
college of Emmetsburg, in Maryland, where, it is 
said, he was for some time employed as a gardener 
in the grounds of the college. If so, it redounds to 
his honor, as it shows that perseverance and talent 
will surmount the greatest obstacles. He complet- 
ed his collegiate studies with the highest honors. 



Being ordained priest, he was stationed at Philadel- 
phia. Eleven years afterward, he was sent to be 
coadjutor to Bishop Dubois, of New York, whose 
successor he is. It is generally admitted, that 
Bishop Hughes is the most talented prelate, of his 
persuasion, on the American continent. He is 
about forty-five years of age. 

In a letter addressed to James Harper, the late 
mayor of New York, in 1844, Bishop Hughes says: 

" It is twenty-seven years since I came to this 
country. I became a citizen, as soon as my major- 
ity of age, and other circumstances permitted. My 
early ancestors were from Wales; and very proba- 
bly shared, with Strongbow and his companions, in 
the plunder which rewarded the first successful in- 
vaders of lovely but unfortunate Ireland. Of course, 
from the time of their conversion from paganism, 
they were catholics. You, sir, who must be ac- 
quainted with the melancholy annals of religious 
intolerance in Ireland, may remember, that when a 
traitor to his country, and, for what I know, to his 
creed also, wished to make his peace to the Irish 
government of Queen Elizabeth, MacMahon, prince 
of Monaghan, the traitor's work, which he volun- 
teered to accomplish, was " to root out the whole sept 
of the Hugheses" He did not, however, succeed in 
destroying them, although he "rooted them out" — 
proving, as a moral for future times, that persecu- 
tion cannot always accomplish what it proposes. 
In the year 1817, a descendant of the sept of the 
Hu^heses came to the United States of America. 
He was the son of a farmer of moderate but com- 
fortable means. He landed on these shores friend- 
less, and with but a few guineas in his purse. He 
never received of the charity of any man without 
repaying; he never had more than a few dollars at 
a time; he never had a patron — in the church or 
out of it ; and it is he who has the honor to address 
you now, as catholic bishop of New York." 



The present attorney-general of the United States, 
is another of those who have achieved an honora- 
ble distinction, by the unassisted power of their 
own efforts. He belongs to a respectable family, 
which emigrated from England at an early period, 
and settled in the southern part of New Hampshire. 
" His grandfather, Nathan Clifford, removed subse- 
quently, to the town of Rumney, in that state, 
where the subject of this sketch resided until his 
death, in the year 1819. His son, Nathan Clifford, 
was born on the 18th of August, 1803. He received 
the rudiments of his education at a public school, 
which he attended only a few months of the year, 
in the neighborhood of his paternal home. At the 
age of fourteen, he became a pupil of the Haverhill 
academy, which he left in 1820, to profit by the su- 
perior advantages of the literary institution at New 
Hampton. At the latter place, he was enabled to 
prosecute his studies bat little more than a year, 
at the expiration of which time he entered, as a 
law student, the office of the distinguished Josiah 
Quincy. During this period, of four years, from the 
age of fourteen to that of eighteen, he had literally 
worked his tvay, teaching school at intervals, and re- 
ceiving little or no aid from his family, through a 
career of honorable culture and attainment, which 
fitted him, in no unworthy manner, for the success- 
ful study of his chosen profession. In June, 1837, 
the supreme court admitted him to practice. He 
then removed to Newfleld, in Maine, where he has 
ever since resided. From 1830, to 1833, he was 
successively elected to the state legislature, a por- 
tion of which time he was speaker of the house. In 
1834, he was appointed attorney-general of 'Maine 



He first took his seat in congress in 1839, and 
his second term embraced the three first ses- 
sions of the Tyler administration. In 184*3, he re- 
tired from congress with a high reputation. He is 
now attorney-general of the United States. 


With the exception of Alden March, of Albany, 
Prof. Mott has, it is believed, no equal as a surgeon, 
in the United States. He was born at Glen Cove, 
Long Island, on the 20th of August, 1785. His 
American ancestor was Adam Mott, who came 
from England and settled in Long Island, about the 
middle of the J 7th century. Henry Mott, the father 
of Valentine, died at a very advanced age, in the 
city of New York, a few years since. 

In 1807, Valentine went to London, where he 
became the pupil of Sir Astley Cooper, and attended 
the lectures of many other famous teachers of that 
day. Shortly after his return to New York, he was 
appointed professor of surgery in Columbia college, 
and subsequently to the same position in the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons. 

In 1818, he performed the operation of tying the 
anterior innominata, within two inches of the heart. 
This was an original operation. It is said of him, 
that he has performed as many great operations as 
any man that ever lived. 

In 1840, owing to the delicacy of his health, he 
returned to Europe, traveling in England, France, 
and Egypt. On his return he published a book, 
containing notes of his travels. He is now profes- 
sor of surgery in the New York university. 



It was the holy twilight hour, and clouds in crimson pride 
Sailed through the golden firmament, in the calm evening tide ; 
The peasant's cheerful song was hushed, by every hill and glen ; 
The city's voice stole faintly out, and died the hum of men: 
And as Night's sombre shades came down, o'er Day's resplendent 

A faded face from a prison-ship gazed out upon the sky ; 
For to that face the glad bright sun of earth for aye had set, 
And the last time had come, to mark Eve's starry coronet. 

Daniel Hathaway, the paternal grandfather of the 
subject of this notice, was of English descent, and 
was a native of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. His 
American ancestors were among the earliest set- 
tlers in the colonies. In 1776, Daniel entered the 
army of the revolution, as a surgeon. 

He was afterwards taken prisoner by the Dutch, 
and confined in one of their loathsome prison-ships. 
After much suffering, he was, upon an exchange of 
prisoners, relieved, and with feelings which can 
easily be imagined, hastened homewards, to rejoin 
his sorrowing family : 

I come, I come, like the weary bird, 

At eve to its sheltered nest ; 
Like the pilgrim from afar, I come 

To a blessed shrine of rest. 

Many a long day had he been expected, and 
many a sad sigh had been heaved at his continued 
absence. For 

It is not home without thee — the lone seat 

Is still unclaimed where thou wert wont to be ; 

In every echo of returning feet, 

In vain we list for what should herald thee : 

Father, come home ! 


But alas ! the light of life grew dim in that house- 
hold, and the scalding tear fell, when the news 
came that their father had died on his way home, 
having, as there was strong reason to believe, been 
poisoned by the enemy at the last meal previous to his 
liberation ! 

Charles Hathaway, the oldest son of Isaac and 
Susannah Hathaway, was born in the city of Hud- 
son, on the 4th of March, 1795. The only advan- 
tages he enjoyed, were those of an academical edu- 
cation; but he has nevertheless cultivated liberal 
studies, in which he has attained a considerable 
proficiency, and is, withal, a clear and vigorous 
writer. How many men thus situated, without the 
advantages of a college, have by a course of pa- 
tient application, risen to the highest eminence and 
standing, and far above where the momentary sal- 
lies of uncultivated genius ever reach, have plucked 
from the lofty cliff the deathless laurel. In his ear- 
ly days he is represented to have been of a medita- 
tive turn, and fond of rambling through the mea- 
dows, into the most secluded and beautiful scenes, 
to " refresh his spirit with the sunshine, the green 
trees and bubbling waters." 

Mr. Hathaway has resided in Delaware county, 
ever since he was twelve years of age, where he 
has had a respectable practice in his professional 
business as a lawyer. His principal employment, 
for many years, has been that of an agent for the 
proprietors of large tracts of land, in Delaware and 
some of the neighboring counties. In 1^40, he 
was appointed first judge and surrogate of Delaware 
county, which office he held, with great credit, for 
several years. He has at different times held othei 
civil appointments. In 1844, the honorary degree 
of A. M. was conferred upon him by the trustees of 
William's college. 

On the 16th of May, 1828, Judge Hathaway was 
united in marriage with Miss Maria Augusta 


Bowne, a sister of Norwood Bowne, Esq., the talent- 
ed editor of the Delaware Express. 

The personal appearance of the judge is gentle- 
manly and prepossessing, although, as a natural 
result of studious habits, his manner is rather re- 


Is a younger brother of James Brooks, of the New 
York Express. He was born at Portland, Maine, 
January, 1815. His father was captain of a private 
armed vessel, and, during the last war with Eng- 
land, succeeded in capturing several prizes. He 
finally perished, however, with his vessel, at sea. 
Erastus was born during his absence, and never 
saw him. 

Sleep on, sleep on ; the glittering depths 

Of ocean's coral caves 
Are thy bright urn — thy requiem 

The music of its waves. 
The purple gems forever burn, 

In fadeless beauty round thy urn ; 
As pure and deep as infant Jove, 

The blue sea rolls its waves above. 

As might be supposed, from his great capacity 
for labor, the subject of our sketch commenced 
earning his living at a very early age. When little 
more than eight, when other children had but com- 
menced going to school, he stood behind the coun- 
ter of a grocery store in Boston. At twelve, he ber 
came a printer, and acted in the capacity of drudge 
in the office of the Portland Advertiser, the paper 
of which he afterward became editor! He remain- 


ed at the printing business until eighteen, when, 
assisted by his brother, he edited and published a 
paper at Wiscasset, Maine, called The Yankee. At 
this period he felt the necessity of a more liberal 
education, and accordingly commenced preparing 
himself for college. He commenced with Sallust, 
and simultaneously with his studies, he set his 
types, worked at the press, edited his paper, collect- 
ed bills, etc., etc. By this means, he saved enough 
in one year to warrant his entrance into Waterville 
college, Maine. Here, and at New Hampton, in 
the woods of New Hampshire, he studied until his 
funds became exhausted. He then went to Haver- 
hill, Massachusetts, where he worked three hours 
per day, setting types, for his board, and taught 
Greek and Latin to pay for his tuition. He thus 
pursued his college studies, and entered the junior 
class at Brown's university, Providence. He after- 
wards returned to Haverhill, where he taught 
school, and subsequently purchased and edited the 
old Haverhill Gazette, called the " old Essex junto 
organ." In the winter of 1835, he went to Wash- 
ington, where, during the sessions of congress, until 
very recently, he continued to reside. In 1836, he, 
with his brother, started the New York Express, 
with which paper he was connected until 1846, 
when he sold out his share. In 1843, he went to 
Europe. He traveled over England, Germany, 
Holland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Austria, 
Poland and France. His interesting letters, during 
that tour, were copied into nearly every paper in 
the Union, and proved him to be an acute observer, 
and a ripe historical scholar. In returning to the 
United States, in the packet ship Sheffield, after es- 
caping so many dangers abroad, he had a narrow 
escape from shipwreck, when in sight of his native 
land, in addition to another in the British channel 
shortly after leaving Liverpool. On his return, he 
married an accomplished lady, the youngest daugh- 


ter of the Hon. Judge Cranch, of Washington city, 
a cousin of John Quincy Adams. 

He has recently purchased the Pittsburg Gazette, 
the oldest paper west of the mountains. 

Mr. Brooks is, in every sense of the word, a self- 
made man. How little do men know of their own 
strength — of the deep spring and power of a deter- 
mined will, until they are rudely forced to put forth 
their might — until a pressure of circumstances tries 
the elasticity of their spirits. 


This famous statesman and financier, the only 
survivor of the cabinets of Jefferson and Madison, 
was born in Geneva, in liberty-loving Switzerland, 
on the 29th of January, 1761, of a family that has 
always held a distinguished rank. At the age of 
eighteen, he graduated at the university of his na- 
tive city. The narrow limits of the country of his 
birth, not affording sufficient scope for his energies 
and aspirations, he, contrary to the wishes of his 
family, emigrated to the United States, and landed 
at Boston, in 1780, bringing with him to the coun- 
try of his adoption, an irreproachable character, and 
the warm regrets of his friends. He immediately 
joined Col. Allen, who was at the head of troops at 
Machias, in Maine, and advanced funds for their 
support. In 1782, he was chosen professor of the 
French language, at Hanover university, Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts; but, in the ensuing year, 
1783, having received his patrimony, he proceeded 
to the state of Virginia, where he purchased several 
large tracts of land. In 1785, he purchased his 
farm at Fayette bounty, Pennsylvania; and in 


1789, he was elected a member of the convention 
for revising the constitution of the United States. 
During the same year, he was elected a member of 
the legislature, in which body he remained till 
1793, when he was chosen a senator of the United 
States. But his eligibility to the office was con- 
tested, on the ground of his not having been a suf- 
ficient length of time a citizen of the United States. 
He lost his seat by a majority of one, a strict party 
vote — all the federalists voting against him, and all 
the republicans voting for him. During this year 
he married, in the city of New York, Miss H.Nich- 
olson, the daughter of Commodore James Nichol- 
son, a distinguished officer of the American navy, 
during the war of independence. 

In 1795, he was elected a member of the house 
of representatives, where he became one of the 
most efficient leaders of the republican party. It 
was on his motion that the committee on ways and 
means was first organized, the house having, until 
that period, depended upon the treasury depart- 
ment for all information, and all investigation of 
questions connected with the public finances. This 
is a curious illustration of the manner in which al- 
most every thing was left to the executive depart- 
ments. He continued a member of the house of 
representatives till 1801, when Mr. Jefferson ap- 
pointed him secretary of the treasury of the United 
States. He presided over the treasury department 
during the two terms of President Jefferson's ad- 
ministration; also, during the first, and the com- 
mencement of the second term of that of Madison ; 
when he retired, to participate in the peace-making 
negotiations of Ghent. In the words of a late 
writer, "it has always been the concurring testi- 
mony of all parties, that the treasury department 
has never been better administered than by Mr 

The Emperor Alexander having offered his medi- 


ation between the United States and Great Britain, 
in 1813, Mr. Gallatin was appointed ambassador 
extraordinary to Russia, together with his distin- 
guished associates. England, however, refused the 
mediation of Russia, but proposed to negotiate di- 
rectly with the United States, upon neutral ground. 
Gottenburg was the place at first selected — subse- 
quently, however, Ghent was fixed upon, and a 
treaty of peace was negotiated and signed at that 
place, by Mr. Gallatin and his colleagues, on the 
24th of December, 1814. In 1815, conjointly with 
Messrs. Adams and Clay, he negotiated and signed 
at London, a commercial convention with Great 
Britain. In 1816, he was appointed ambassador to 
Paris, where he remained until 1823. During his 
residence at Paris, he was appointed on two extra- 
ordinary missions — one to Holland, in 1817; and 
the other to England, in 1818. 

In 1824, he was nominated by the friends of Mr. 
Crawford, as vice-president of the United States — 
but he declined the nomination. In 1826, he was 
appointed minister to England. He returned to the 
United States in 1827, and has ever since resided 
in the city of New York. 

In 1830, he was chosen president of the council 
of the university; in 1831, president of the National 
bank; in 1843, president of the New York Historical 
society ; and at different times, president of various 
other scientific and literary institutions. Since his 
residence in New York, he has published several 
learned works; and in 1846, appeared his remarka- 
ble and unanswerable letters on the Oregon contro- 
versy. On the subject of the currency, he has 
within the last few years, published some able and 
elaborate remarks, which are viewed as valuable 
contributions to the general discussion on the sub- 

. The author of the celebrated letters of "Curtius," 
speaking of Mr. Gallatin, says: "The accuracy of 


his information, the extent of his knowledge, the 
perspicacity of his style, the moderation of his tem- 
per, and the irresistible energy of his reasoning 
powers, render him the ablest advocate that ever 
appeared in the cause of truth and , liberty. He 
unites to the energy of eloquence, and the confi- 
dence of integrity, the precision of mathematics, 
the method of logic, and the treasures of experi- 

Although now nearly ninety years of age, 
the countenance of Mr. Gallatin betokens great 
vigor, and his eye plainly indicates that the " light- 
ning of the soul" is not quenched. He has a high 
and ample forehead, such as artists love to couple 
with the features of old age. With truth has it 
been observed, that this is the only feature of the 
human face which time spares. He dims the lus- 
tre of the eye — he shrivels the cheeks, and thins 
and whitens the hair — but the forehead, that tem- 
ple of thought, is beyond his reach, or rather, it 
shows more grand and lofty for the ravages which 
furrowed it. The Democratic Review of 1843, in 
a very able notice of Mr. Gallatin, says* 

"With respect to the estimation in which Mr. 
Gallatin was held, throughout his diplomatic ca- 
reer, we may safely say, that no American abroad, 
in that capacity, ever maintained a higher position, 
in every point of view. He was uniformly consi- 
dered in the two great capitals of Europe, as one of 
the most distinguished members of the diplomatic 
corps. His eminent talents, extent and minuteness 
of general information, and fine conversational 
powers, could not fail, every where, to attract to his 
person the most distinguished social consideration ; 
while, on the part of the governments to which he 
was accredited, the manly uprightness and good 
faith characterizing all his official conduct, in the 
full spirit of the American diplomacy, secured to 
him the highest respect and confidence." 



The son of Albert Gallatin, the subject of the pre- 
ceding sketch, was born in the city of New York, on 
the 18th of December, 1796, in the house of his 
grandfather, Commodore James Nicholson. He 
graduated at Mount Airy college, Pennsylvania. In 
his seventeenth year, he accompanied Vice-Presi- 
dent Dallas, as secretary attached to the extraordi- 
nary embassy of the United States to Russia. He 
also assisted, in the same capacity, at the negotia- 
tion at Ghent, which resulted in the treaty of peace, 
signed on the 24th of December, 1814, by the ple- 
nipotentiaries of the United States and Great Bri- 
tain. He remained attached to the American em- 
bassy at Paris, until 1828, when, with a great acces- 
sion to his knowledge of men and things, having 
seen every variety of character and society, in the 
principal cities of Europe, he returned to his native 
land. In the ensuing year, at the age of twenty- 
eight, he married Miss R. Paxault, of Baltimore, 
Maryland. During the next eight years he was en- 
gaged in surveying and selling lands in the state of 
Ohio, and in the western part of the state of Vir- 
ginia, by which he realized a considerable capital. 
The occupation of a surveyor, particularly in these 
portions of the country, must have been peculiarly 
pleasant to a young man of ardent temperament, 
and romantic disposition ; and his rambles through 
the deep solitudes of the forest afforded him ample 
opportunities for studying the sublimities of nature, 
for to such 

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods ; 
There is a rapture on the lonely shore ; 
There is society where none intrudes. 


With his means thus increased, Mr. Gallatin, in 
connection with his brother, established a banking 
house in the city of New York. In 1339, on the 
withdrawal of his father from the presidency of the 
National bank, in that city, he was unanimously 
elected president of that nourishing institution, 
which situation he now holds. 

Mr. Gallatin is a ripe scholar, and well grounded 
in classical literature; in addition to which he is re- 
presented as possessing, in an eminent degree, the 
capacity and business talents of his honored parent. 
His manner is calm and natural, and free from that 
nutter and anxiety which never can be got rid of, 
by one unaccustomed to society, or who endeavors 
to appear what he is not. Yet his politeness is 
more " the sincerity of a good heart, than the eti- 
quette of modern fashion." There is, too, an ear- 
nestness and good faith, that gives assurance of the 
high moral tone of his character, and the perfect 
integrity of his spirit. 

May he live to the same good old age as his fa- 
ther; and when his course is run, may he be entitled 
to as green a garland. 



A senator from the first senatorial district of New- 
York, was born in the city of New York. He is a 
son of the late Chancellor Sanford. After graduat- 
ing at Union college, he studied law in the office 
of the Hon. Benjamin F. Butler, late attorney-gene- 
ral of the United States. He practised his profes- 
sion for some years, in the city of New York, but a 
love of literature predominating, he became con- 
nected with the press. He successfully edited the 
Standard, and the New York Times. The latter 
was discontinued in 1837. It was an able demo- 
cratic paper, but did not concur with the dominant 
party on the subject of the independent treasury. 

Mr. Sanford went subsequently to Washington, and 
became one of the editors of the Globe; in which his 
smooth, flowery style afforded a curious contrast to 
that of the senior editor, Mr. Blair, which might 
well be compared to a torrent, dashing impetuous- 
ly over every obstacle. 

The manners of Mr. Sanford are bland and gentle- 
manly, and he has long commanded the confidence 
and respect of the party to which he is attached. 
Several pieces of his, which have at various times 
appeared in the periodicals, indicate that his poet- 
ical talents are of the first order. 

He was recently nominated for the office of sec- 
retary of state of New York, but a division in the 
democratic ranks rendered his election impossible. 



Dr. Charles Anthon is the well known Jay pro- 
fessor of the French and Latin languages, in Colum- 
bia college, New York, and rector of the grammar 
school. If not absolutely the best, he is, says Poe, 
at least generally considered the best classicist in 
America. In England, and Europe at large, his 
scholastic acquirements are more sincerely respect- 
ed, than those of any of our countrymen. His ad- 
ditions to Lempriere, are there justly regarded as 
evincing a nice perception of method and accuracy 
as well as of extensive erudition ; but his Classical 
Dictionary has superseded the work of the French- 
man altogether. 

Most of Prof. Anthon' s publications have been 
adopted as text-books at Oxford and Cambridge — 
an honor to be properly understood only by those 
acquainted with the many high requisites for at- 
taining it. As a commentator, he may rank with 
any of his day, and has evinced powers very un- 
usual in men who devote their lives to classical 
lore. His accuracy is very remarkable. In this 
particular he is always to be relied upon. 

Dr. Anthon is, perhaps, forty-eight years of age ; 
about five feet eight inches in height ; rather stout; 
fair complexion; hair light, and inclined to curl; 
forehead remarkably broad and high; eye gray, 
clear and penetrating; mouth well formed, with 
excellent teeth — the lips having great flexibility, 
and consequent power of expression ; the smile par- 
ticularly pleasing. His address in general is bold, 
frank, cordial, full of bonhommie. His whole air is 
distingue, in the best understanding of the term — 
that is to say, he would impress any one, at first 
sight, with the idea of his being no ordinary man. 


He has qualities, indeed, which would have insured 
him eminent success in almost any pursuit; and 
there are times when his friends are half disposed 
to regret his exclusive devotion to classical litera- 


One of the good old features of a republic, is the 
unrestricted opportunity laid open to every man to 
earn for himself honorable distinction. The old 
couplet is none the worse for its age : 

Honor and shame from no condition rise ; 
Act well your part — there all the honor lies. 

Andrew H. Mickle, says the New York Sun, late 
mayor of the city of New York, commenced life a 
poor boy. He was born in a wretched one story 
house in Duane street, opposite the Sixth Ward ho- 
tel. At an early age he became an apprentice to 
Mr. Miller, the famous tobacconist, whose confi- 
dence he soon acquired, from his honesty, diligence 
and modest deportment. He soon became the fore- 
man of that large establishment. At the death of 
Mr. Miller, the whole business was thrown into 
his hands, which he managed for the widow, with 
such strict integrity and success, that she received 
him as a partner in the concern. Some time after- 
ward he married her daughter. Thus, step by step, 
he advanced to wealth, honor and reputation — and 
finally became mayor of this great city. On his re- 
tirement from that office, the New York Tribune 
contained the following notice of him : 

"We cannot chronicle the retirement of Hon. A. 
H. Mickle, from the chief magistracy of our city, 


without attesting the very general satisfaction 
which his official course has given, and especially 
the latter portion of it. Mr. Mickle came into the 
mayoralty entirely without experience, and for some 
time seemed unlikely to distinguish himself from 
the ephemeral shoal of mere creatures of party, 
whom the waves of political commotion are con- 
stantly heaving up to view and directly swallowing 
again. But he has proved himself of nobler metal 
than he was taken for, by laboring to discharge his 
duty conscientiously and impartially, destroying 
his chance for a renomination, but winning for 
himself an enduring place in the hearts of the dis- 
cerning and the just. He retires from office with 
the profound respect and esteem of our whole city. 
Honor to his tried integrity and modest worth!" 


Was born in Dutchess county, in the state of New 
York, on the 22d of August, 1779. His ancestors 
were from Holland, and were of high character and 
respectability. In 1838, Mr. Paulding was appoint- 
ed secretary of the navy, in which office he con- 
tinued until the expiration of Mr. Van Buren's pre- 
sidential term. But he is better known throughout 
the country as an author and poet, than as a states- 
man — his habits of retirement unfitting him for the 
stirring life of a politician. When at the head of 
the navy department, he was, it is said, so fond of 
shutting himself up in his private room, where he 
would lie upon his back for hours, in meditation, 
that he was almost inaccessible to persons having 
business with that branch of the government. 



Probably few men in the state of New York, are 
so widely known and universally respected, as Gen. 
Ward, of Westchester county. His history is in- 
teresting and valuable, and wel] worthy the study 
of young men. He was born in Westchester county. 
His father, Moses Ward, in the year 1785, purchased 
a part of the manorial estate of Frederick Phillips, 
which had been forfeited to the state by his attain- 
der. This property covered a large portion of the 
site of the present village of Sing Sing, on the Hud- 
son. At the time there were but three dwelling 
houses in this section of the country, one of which, 
an old stone mansion, used as a fortress to defend 
the settlers against the Indians, was the residence 
of Mr. Ward. His family was one of the oldest in 
the country, and took an active part in the revolu- 
tionary struggle. The mother of Gen. Ward was a 
niece of Col. Drake, of the continental army, and 
his father's uncle was an officer in Col. Philip Van 
Cortland's regiment, and fell at Saratoga. 

Destined for the profession of the law, the subject 
of our sketch was placed at an early age, under the 
charge of the Rev. Mr. Nelson, a gentleman of great 
learning, and at the time, principal of the Mount 
Pleasant academy. He afterwards entered the office 
of Alexander McDonald, Esq., a lawyer of high 
standing and great worth. Shortly after this, the 
country became involved in the war with Great Bri- 
tain, and with characteristic patriotism, young 
Ward left his law books, and devoted himself to hei 
service. The secretary of war being in Albany 
at the time, Gov. Tompkins procured him a lieu- 
tenantcy in the 29th regiment of infantry, and pre- 
sented it to him, with an order to report himself 


immediately for duty. Lieut. Ward, then in his 
eighteenth year, immediately repaired to Albany, 
and commenced his career as a soldier. 

On his arrival at Albany, the governor tendered 
him the appointment of aid to Gen. Brown. But 
learning that a conditional promise of the same 
office had been made to Lieut. Spencer, (son of the 
late Chief Justice Ambrose Spencer,) notwithstand- 
ing the opinion of the governor that the post was 
his, Lieut. Ward regarding the claims of Judge 
Spencer on the executive as superior to his own 
magnanimously, declined in favor of Lieut. Spencer 
This brave officer fell at Lundy's Lane. 

Gen. Tompkins then procured him a staff appoint- 
ment in his regiment, but prefering active service, 
he was, at his own request, removed into the line. 
One or two incidents of his first campaign, will illus- 
trate his character as a brave soldier. 

In August, 1813, while the army under Gen. 
Hampton was on the march towards Montreal, 
Lieut. Ward, with a company of picked men, was 
sent forward as an advanced guard. Not far from 
the American lines they saw the enemy, and press- 
ing on to meet them, were saluted with a sharp 
volley from an advance force. A second and third 
volley ensued, but nothing daunted, the gallant 
band pressed forward, until their young officer gave 
the word "Halt! ready my lads! steadily, coolly. 
Let every ball tell. Fire ! " and springing to the 
front, he shouted, "Forward! quick march ! charge !" 
The brave men, not a whit behind their brave leader, 
scattered the enemy like chaff. The rout was total, 
and the retreat of the British so prompt, that then- 
dead and wounded were left on the field. 

On the 25th of November, a division of the same 
army, then under command of Col. Purdy, broke 
up its encampment before sunset, with a view of 
reaching the Chateaugay river, in the rear of the 
enemy. They had orders to cross and commence 


the attack at one o'clock on the next day, at which 
time it was also to be made in front. The division 
being compelled to march through a dense forest, 
did not reach the ford in time. Brig. Gen. Izard 
commenced the attack, and drove the enemy from 
the out-posts. But finding that Col. Purdy, who 
had command of most of the light troops, could not 
bring his men into action, he withdrew his brigade, 
and orders were sent to Col. Purdy to construct a 
bridge and cross the river. But before this could 
be accomplished, the enemy fell on his command, 
threw them into confusion, and many of his officers 
fled ingloriously from the field. In this emergency, 
Lieut. Ward, with a few brave companions, uniting 
with Col. J. E. Wool and the officers in command, 
rallied the men and brought them into action. Lieut. 
Ward found himself at the head of a company of a 
hundred men, with only one officer to assist him. 
The enemy being repulsed, renewed the attack at 
ten o'clock P. M., and continued it till morning. 
The gallant conduct of Lieut. Ward during that 
fearful night, elicited the highest approbation of his 
superiors, and the next day he had the honor of 
leading the rear of the army safely into camp. 

In 1814, he was promoted to a captaincy. On 
the 29th of March in that year, the northern army 
under Gen. Wilkinson, concentrated at Champlain, 
preparatory to marching against the enemy, then in 
Canada, 2,500 or 3,000 strong. The march began 
at an early hour in the morning. Lieut. Scofield 
had been ordered to the right flank, with a command 
of fifty men. He was instructed to keep at a dis- 
tance from the main body, to protect it against 
scouting parties of the enemy. He was attacked 
by an advance of the latter, who were securely posted 
in a forest near which the army should have passed, 
but for a mistake or the treachery of the guide. A 
halt was ordered, with a view of giving the advance, 
then two miles distant, an opportunity to counter- 


march, and the general in command, perceiving 
the exposed situation of Lieut. Scofield, sent Capt. 
Ward with a company to his support. Assuming 
the command, Capt. Ward made his position strong, 
and maintained it against a largely superior force; 
and ultimately, by a well-directed movement on 
their flank, he drove the enemy from their post. 

At this time he received orders to maintain his po- 
sition at all hazards ; and he not only did so, but after 
a severe conflict, he compelled the enemy to retreat. 

The limits of this sketch forbid our entering far- 
ther into the military career of Gen. Ward. It will 
be sufficient to say, that he continued in the service 
till the close of the war, adding new laurels to those 
already won, and discharging every duty with rigid 
exactness, and in such a manner as to obtain for 
him the repeated approbation of superior officers. 

At the close of the war, at the head of a battalion, 
he conducted the first detachment of British prison- 
ers, numbering some six or seven hundred men, from 
Pittsfield, Mass., to Canada. His kindness to them 
on their march, in an inclement season, drew from 
them an expression of hearty thanks, and they begged 
him to accept a valuable watch, as a token of their 
esteem and gratitude. Capt. Ward was of course 
highly gratified by this unexpected tribute, but al- 
though he received their vote of thanks, and replied 
to it, he declined receiving the present with which 
it was accompanied. An offering of this kind, un- 
der such circumstances, was of far greater value 
than the gold snuff boxes, and diamond hilted 
swords, which it is customary for foreign potentates 
to present to our ministers. 

The war being terminated, and his services no 
longer required, Capt. Ward resumed and completed 
his legal studies in the office of H.Van Derlyn, Esq., 
of Oxford ; and on his admission to the bar, he re- 
turned to his native village, and commenced the 
practice of his profession. 


In January, 1820, he married the only daughter 
of Elkanah Watson of Albany, a lady who has al- 
ways commanded, by her worth and amiability, the 
highest esteem of all who have the honor of her 
acquaintance. Mr. Watson is well known in the 
state, as a philanthropist of the noblest order. 

Capt. Ward was soon afterwards appointed dis- 
trict attorney for Westchester county. On the 1st 
of September, 1824, he was elected colonel of a re- 
giment in Mount Pleasant. 

Devoting himself with patience and perseverance 
to his profession, he soon attained a high standing, 
which in connexion with his private worth, and 
great popularity in his county, soon removed him, 
in 1825, to a seat in the halls of congress. He was 
elected to represent the district composed of the 
counties of Westchester and Putnam, and was sub- 
sequently continued in that county for a period of 
twelve years, his last term expiring in 1843. This 
unusual length of time passed in Congress, proves 
how fully he possessed the confidence of his con- 

The character of this work will not permit us to 
give more than a general review of the political ca- 
reer of Gen. Ward — probably the most interesting 
portion of his life. His career was in a period 
fraught with important and exciting incidents, and 
rarely equaled for the discussion of great and vital 
questions, bearing on the destinies of the county. 
Among these were — nullification, tariff, recharter 
of the United States bank, removal of the deposites, 
sub-treasury, etc. — with all of which Gen. Ward 
had an intimate personal connection ; and to do jus- 
tice to his labors would involve the necessity of 
writing a political history of the country during that 
period. He was a warm supporter of the adminis- 
trations of Jackson and Van Buren. Not only were 
his efforts directed to the advancement of the inte- 
rests of his constituents, but also those of neighbor- 


ing districts, as well as of the country at large. The 
city of New York is especially indebted to him for 
his exertions, in behalf of many important commer- 
cial measures then before congress. On all the 
leading measures for the defence and preservation 
of the Union, he uniformly gave his influence and 

One of his first efforts in congress was for his 
companions in arms, the defenders of Plattsburg — 
and after a zealous advocacy of the bill for their 
relief, he had the satisfaction of seeing it become a 
law. He next united with the committee on revo- 
lutionary pensions, and advocated the pension bill 
with great force and eloquence. 

He advocated the increase of the pay of the navy, 
and was instrumental in the passage of the bill, 
which placed that meritorious class of officers on a 
respectable footing. He was always on the milita- 
ry committees of the house, and thus had opportu- 
nities to be of service to the army and navy, whose 
firm friend he always remained. He urged the ad- 
dition of the two regiments of dragoons to the regu- 
lar army, and always strenuously opposed any at- 
tempt to reduce that force. The West Point aca- 
demy is indebted to him for an inflexible friend- 
ship, which he always manifested, and which was 
successful in insuring for it the support of congress. 
He spoke often, and with great zeal, in its defence. 
One of his favorite measures, which he repeatedly 
but ineffectually urged on the attention of congress, 
was a plan for the education of the children of sol- 
diers in the army. 

On the 16th of June, 1830, he was elected bri- 
gadier-general, and on the 10th of February, 1835, 
was promoted by Gov. Marcy to the rank of major- 
general — in which rank he is still continued under 
the new constitution of the state. 

In 1846, he was a member of the state conven- 


tion which revised the constitution, and in which 
he took an active part. 

As a debater, Gen. Ward speaks with grace and 
fluency. Open, frank and courteous, he left con- 
gress with the cordial respect of all. Although ever 
faithful to his party, his gentlemanly course never 
gave his opponents reason to complain of a harsh 
word or a rude remark. 

Gen. Ward is a devoted friend of literature, and 
has distinguished himself by continued exertions in 
favor of all institutions whose object is the promo- 
tion of knowledge. The village in which he re 
sides is especially indebted to him for these efforts. 
He is a warm advocate of the poor, and the op- 
pressed, as all who know him will bear testimony. 
As a husband and a father, if we may be allowed 
to enter the hallowed circle of the family, he is said 
to be without a superior. The cares of public life, 
and the weight of political trouble, of which he has 
borne more than his share, have never been so 
great as to cause him to forget home, and its price- 
less treasures. He is still living, in the vigor and 
prime of life, and whether he remain in private 
life or not, long may he live to honor his name, as 
the soldier, the statesman, the philanthropist and 
the friend. 



Senator Hall was born at Middletown, Connecti- 
cut, in 1804. His great-grandfather, on his mother's 
side, was the celebrated Jonathan Parsons, of New- 
buryport, Massachusetts, a distinguished divine, and 
whose name occupies a conspicuous place in the 
history of that time. The celebrated "Whitfield died 
at his house. They are both buried under the 
church at Newburyport. The maternal grandfather 
of Mr. Hall was Samuel Holden Parsons, son of 
Jonathan, whose name he bears. Mr. Parsons was 
educated as a lawyer, and was a man of no ordina- 
ry talents. He settled at Danbury, in Connecticut, 
but subsequently removed to Middletown, in the 
same state. He there married Mehetable Mather, 
of Lyme, Connecticut, and by whom he had seven 
children. Soon after the commencement of the 
revolutionary war, congress appointed him a bri- 
gadier-general, and he mustered the state troops of 
Connecticut into the service of the general • govern- 
ment, when they became continental troops. He 
was soon promoted to the rank of major-general, in 
which capacity he served his country during the 
war. He was a particular friend of Washington, 
who, in that time which tried men's souls, relied 
much on his judgment and advice. G-en. Parsons 
was one of the officers who composed the court 
martial that tried and condemned the unfortunate 
Andre. He was subsequently appointed a commis- 
sioner, and sent to the north western territory, on 
business of the government. After escaping so 
many dangers in his eventful life, he was drowned 
in the Great Bear creek, near its confluence with 
the Ohio river. How many, after coming out un- 
scathed from amidst the shock of contending hosts, 


are found by death, in the quiet home where all ap- 
pears secure ! His widow survived several years, 
and was buried at Middletown, Connecticut. 

Mehetable Parsons, daughter of the general, mar- 
ried Dr. William B. Hall, of Middletown, who was 
originally of Meriden, in the same state. He was 
a graduate of Yale College, New Haven. His fa- 
ther was a wealthy farmer of Meriden, and his 
grandfather was the minister at Cheshire, Connec- 

Dr. Hall died at Middletown, in 1809, leaving 
two sons, William B., and Samuel H. P. Hall, the 
subject of our sketch. 

O weep not for the friends that pass 

Into the lonesome grave, 
As breezes sweep the withered grass 

Along the restless wave : 
For though thy pleasures may depart, 

And darksome days be given, 
Yet bliss awaits the holy heart, 

When friends rejoin in heaven. 

At the age of four years, Samuel was deprived of 
a father and protector, but he was blessed with one 
of the best of mothers, who spared no pains in in- 
stilling correct principles in the mind of her son. 
She was one of those who are aware that, as a straw 
will make an impression on the virgin snow, but 
after a time a horse's hoof cannot quench it, so it 
is with the youthful mind — a trifling word may 
make an impression, but in after years the most 
powerful appeals may cease to influence it. She 
was a mother to whom might well be applied the 
words of the poet : 

She led me first to God ; 
Her words and prayers were my young spirit's dew, 

For when she used to leave 

The fireside every eve, 
I knew it was for prayer that she withdrew. 


With truth has it been said, that integrity, un- 
flinching perseverance in every sex-like duty, and 
a heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, whenever occasion 
calls for it, are transmitted traits in the women of 
that region. 

Samuel was educated and provided for by his 
mother, until his age and qualifications enabled him 
to enter a store as clerk. Here the affability of his 
manner soon rendered him a general favorite, and 
possessing naturally great energy of character, and 
buoyant with health and hope, in the course of 
time he was enabled to commence business on his 
own account. 

In 1826, he married Miss Emeline Bulkley, of 
Rocky Hill, Connecticut, the daughter of Charles 
Bulkley, Esq., of that place, and by whom he has 
had iive children. His eldest son, Charles, is now 
at Yale college. 

In the spring of 1837, Mr. Hall removed to Bing- 
hamton, Broome county, New York, where he has 
conducted a large and extensive mercantile estab- 
lishment, with considerable success. 

After holding several minor offices, he was, in 
1846, nominated as state senator to the New York 
legislature, from the sixth senatorial district, com- 
prising nine counties in the southern portion of the 
state. He received more than 25,000 votes, and a 
majority of over 1,700 over Judge Hawley, of Steu- 
ben county, the opposing candidate. 

On the first day of January, 1847, Mr. Hall took 
the oath of office at Albany, and commenced his 
duties as one of the court of errors, which was then 
in session — and the little fatherless boy, who stood 
behind the counter, is now a senator ! 

Mr. Hall has very recently, by a large majority, 
been reelected for another senatorial term. 

It must not be supposed that Mr. Hall attained 
his present position without obstacles to surmount, 
and great difficulties to overcome. On the contra- 


ry, he,has had an ample share of opposition. But 
he is not one of those people who, " having begun 
life by setting their boat against wind, and tide, are 
always complaining of their bad luck, and always 
just ready to give up, and for that very reason are 
helpless and good for nothing; and yet, if they 
would persevere, hard as it may be to work up 
stream, all their life long, they would have their re- 
ward at last. In the words of that pithy writer, 
John Neal, " Good voyages are made both ways. 
A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a 
man. Kites rise against, not with the wind. Even 
a head wind is better than nothing, No man ever 
worked his voyage any where, in a dead calm. 
The best wind for every thing, in the long run, is a 
side wind. If it blows right aft, how is he to get 

" Let no man wax pale, therefore, because "of op- 
position. Opposition is what he wants, and must 
have, to be good for any thing. Hardship is the 
native soil of manhood and self-reliance. He that 
cannot abide the storm, without flinching or quail- 
ing — strips himself in the sunshine, and lies down 
by the wayside, to be overlooked and forgotten. He 
who but braces himself to the struggle when the 
winds blow — gives up, when they have done, and 
falls asleep in the stillness that follows. 

" Did you ever know any body stick to any kind 
of business, no matter how unpromising, ten years 
at most, who did not prosper? Not one! no mat- 
ter how bad it might be at the beginning — if he 
stuck to it earnestly and faithfully, and tried no- 
thing else — no matter how hard he may have found 
it sometimes to keep his head above water — still, if 
he persevered, he always came out bright in the 
end— didn't he ?" 



It has been truly said, that it is not always the 
men who shine with the most brilliancy before the 
world, and occasionally astonish our senses with 
their exploits, who are really the most useful or the 
most worthy. There are many whose lives afford 
but few incidents calculated to excite interest or 
allure attention, which are not, however, less wor- 
thy of record, or barren of utility. 

Brought up from early youth to a life of labor, 
Mr. Rowe is, in the full sense of the word, a self- 
made man. Blessed with fine health, a cheerful 
mind, and buoyant spirits, he is not one of that 
class who are always fancying that the world has 
gone particularly wrong with them, because of some 
trifling pecuniary loss, or the failure of some che- 
rished speculation. Although from his boyhood 
temperate and economical, he did, on one occasion, 
when quite young, get intoxicated, " just to know 
how it would seem." But, notwithstanding the 
motive was only curiosity, the result was a week's 
illness, and he was so thoroughly dissatisfied with 
the experiment, that he never for once dreamed of 
its repetition. Would that thousands of others 
could be convinced by a single trial ! The blos- 
soms of paradise would burst forth before the wan- 
ing of another moon. 

About five years since, the subject of our sketch, 
having by his own unaided exertions secured an 
extensive and prosperous business, became con- 
vinced of the truth of those words, which floated 
on the breeze through the groves of Eden, more than 
six thousand years ago — " It is not good for man 
to be alone!" Under these circumstances he be- 
came united in marriage with Miss Helen Elizabeth 


McGregor, one of the accomplished daughters of 
Dr. J. B. McGregor, of Rochester, New York. How 
many now in the "sere and yellow leaf," wish that 
when young they had done likewise! O aged 
bachelor, as your head falls back upon the pillow, 
do you not think — in a whisper be it spoken — how 
pleasant in those night solitudes, would have been 
the rise and fall of " a softer breathing than your 
own, the quick throb of a purer heart, imparting 
peacefulness to your troubled hours! Yet, as "the 
velvet moss will grow upon the sterile rock; the 
mistletoe flourish on the withered branch; the ivy 
cling to the mouldering ruin ; the pine and cedar 
remain fresh and fadeless through the dying year — 
so even the remembrance only of a pure affection, 
like something green, something beautiful to see, 
and grateful to the soul, will, in the coldest and 
darkest hour of fate, still twine its tendrils around 
the crumbling altars, and broken arches, and deso- 
lated temples of the human heart." 

Mrs. Rowe is, we believe, a native of Newport, 
New Hampshire; and with others of her sex, who 
are blessed with a keen perception of the beautiful 
in nature, is passionately fond of flowers, as the 
true emblems of loveliness and innocence, and the 
living types of all that is pleasing and graceful. 
Well might one of our gifted writers ask, " where 
would the poet fly for his images of beauty, if they 
were to perish forever ? Do we not compare young 
lips to the rose? does not the winning eye gather 
its glow from the violet ? and is not a sweet voice, 
like a breeze kissing its way through flowers? 
Sweet flowers ! that bring before our eyes scenes of 
childhood — faces remembered in youth, when Love 
was a stranger to himself! The mossy bank by 
the wayside — the sheltered glen, darkly green, rilled 
with the perfume of violets, that shone in their in- 
tense blue, like another sky spread upon the earth 
— the laughter of merry voices — the sweet song of 


the maiden — the downcast eye — the spreading blush 
— the kiss ashamed of its own sound — are all 
brought back to memory by a flower!" 

Asking the indulgence of the reader, for this di- 
gression, we will conclude this sketch by saying, 
that eminently happy in his domestic relations, and 
honored by his fellow citizens, for his high integrity 
and sterling worth, Mr. Rowe still continues to re- 
side at the city of Rochester, where may the music 
of its gushing waters, ever be a herald of pleasures 
to come. 



This gentleman is a descendant of Thomas 01- 
cott, who was among the first settlers of the town 
of Hartford, and one of the founders of the trade 
and commerce of the colony of Connecticut. T e 
precise period of his emigration from England is 
not known, but he was one of the " goodly compa- 
ny" of men, women and children, who in June, 
1635, left Newtown, now Cambridge, and other 
settlements on the sea board of Massachusetts, to 
plant a new colony on the delightful banks of the 

Mr. Olcott had been educated in Europe, a mer- 
chant, and in common with others he engaged in 
trade, for which Connecticut afforded great facili- 
ties, especially the traffic in furs. 

There is no positive evidence as to the maiden 
name of Mrs. Olcott, but, says Mr. Goodwin, it is 
safe to conjecture that she was a Porter, from Lon- 
don, from the circumstance that, on the death of 
Mr. David Porter, of England, who was drowned in 
the river, while on a visit to the colony, letters of 


administration were granted to Mrs. Olcott. The 
following quaint exhibit of the expenses attending 
the funeral of Mr. Porter, shows that a custom, 
more honored in the breach than in the observance, 
then prevailed in the colony: 

June 8, 1678. 

An accompt of what tvas expended on Mr. David Porter, for his 
taking up and burial. 

By a pint of Lyq r . to those that dived for him, - £00 01 00 

By a q rt . of Lyq r . to those that brought him home, 00 02 00 

Bv 2 q* 3 . of wine and ga 11 . of syd r . to y e Jury of Inquest, 00 05 04 

By 8 ga" s . & 3 q rts . wine for the funeral, cost - - 01 15 00 

By a barr". of syd r . for do. cost - - - - 00 16 00 

By a coffin, cost 00 12 00 

By a windeing sheete, cost - - - - 00 18 00 

By to pay for the grave, 00 05 00 

£04 14 04 

This given into the Court, at Hartford, December 9th, 1768, by 
the consent of my mother, Mrs. Abigail Olcott, per me, 

Tho : Olcott. 

Mrs. Olcott died on the 26th of May, 1693, aged 
seventy-eight years. 

The subject of this memoir, Thomas W. Olcott, 
is the son of Josiah Olcott, of Hudson, New York. 
He has for many years been president of the Me- 
chanics' and Farmers' bank, of Albany, to which 
honorable position, by his high character and busi- 
ness talents, he rose from that of a junior clerk in 
that institution. A more public spirited man, or a 
greater and more efficient friend to all useful and 
benevolent enterprises, does not exist. With a 
clear head and a warm heart, he has been the main- 
spring of many a great movement, the influence of 
which shall reach beyond the grave. 

On the 17th of August, 1818, Mr. Olcott was 
united in marriage with Miss Caroline Pepoon, of 
Stockbridge, Massachusetts, by whom he has had 
eleven children. 



1 i 

J "' < ' 

■ J* IIP 

l l 



This distinguished man was horn at "Wattle's fer- 
ry, on the eastern branch of the Susquehannah, in 
the state of New York, on the 23th of April, 1302. 
His father, William Gordon, was a native of Mass- 
achusetts, and at the age of sixteen served in the 
revolutionary war, as a substitute for his parent, at 
North point, and in the valley of the Mohawk. He 
was in the battle at Canada creek, where Butler, a 
British officer, was killed by an Oneida Indian, in 
the service of the United States. He was a man of 
undaunted courage, daring intrepidity, and great 
physical strength: persevering and untiring in the 
pursuit of his object; a good judge of men and 
things, but of an irascible temper. He was a pi- 
oneer in the settlement of the Chenansro vallev. hav- 
ing moved into that region while the red man of 
the forest still made his abode there, and before 
there were any schools, roads, or public improve- 
ments of any kind. He went, with his wife and 
child, into the solitary wilderness, with none but 
the Indians for his neighbors, and when the early 
settler was compelled at night to build a large fire 
at the door of his shanty, to keep off the wolves and 
other wild beasts. But with this temporary dwell- 
ing, the sturdy axeman was content. With his 
rifle he procured abundance of food, and in process 
of time he soon became the possessor of a fine farm 
on the flats, at the ferry, where he died in 1825. 

Samuel received nothing more than a common 
school education, but it was remarked, that what- 
ever he did learn, was grasped with " hooks of steel ;" 
and he was one of those troublesome boys, who are 
always perplexing their teacher with the why 1 and 
the wherefore ? His stern determination to attain 


an object, when once decided upon, was then, as 
now, a prominent feature in his character. He was 
of a most stirring and enterprising turn, and any- 
thing in which courage and endurance, whether of 
body or mind, were required, were the pursuits 
after which he panted. His love of argument ren- 
dered him a rather vexatious companion, to that 
class of his school mates who were ready to take 
every thing for granted. He was, in fact, it is pre- 
sumed, the school lawyer; and from the well 
known impetuosity of his temper, there is but little 
doubt that he more frequently recorded his deci- 
sions with his fist, upon the bodies of the appel- 
lants, than by the more approved mode of pen and 

After leaving school, he was brought up as a 
farmer. This quiet pursuit, however, viewed as a 
mere mechanical employment, was far from being 
congenial with his active mind, and he was ever 
looking forward to the law. With this view, he 
was seldom without a book in his pocket, and be- 
fore he was twenty years of age, he was a self- 
taught Greek and Latin scholar, and while break- 
ing the stubborn soil, he was plowing deep into the 
mysteries of ancient lore. It was not, however, un- 
til his twenty-fifth year, that an opportunity pre- 
sented itself for carrying into effect his long che- 
rished wish to become a lawyer. He then, in 1827, 
bade adieu to the farm, and removed to Delhi, in 
Delaware county, New York, his present residence, 
where he became a student in the office of the late 
Gen. Root. So rapid was his progress, that in a 
very short time the entire business of the office was 
entrusted to him. In 1829, he was admitted an at- 
torney in the supreme court of the state. He then 
became a partner with Gen. Root, in the practice 
of the law. This engagement continued until 1835, 
when Mr. Gordon continued the business on his 
own account. In 1831, he was appointed postmas- 


ter at Delhi, which office he held until his resigna- 
tion, in 1841. In 1832, he was admitted a coun- 
sellor of the supreme court, and solicitor and coun- 
sellor in chancery. In 1834, he was appointed dis- 
trict-attorney of the county of Delaware, the duties 
of which office he energetically discharged for {hree 

In 1833, he was elected a member of the assem- 
bly of the New York legislature. While there, he 
made many able argumentative speeches. Among 
them was one in opposition to a bill for the aboli- 
tion of capital punishment. So powerful was his 
reasoning, and so eloquently was it maintained, 
that to this speech the defeat of the bill, although 
ably defended by the Hon. John McKeon, and other 
distinguished speakers, was mainly attributed. 

In 1840, Mr. Gordon was elected to congress from 
the twentieth congressional district, embracing the 
counties of Delaware and Broome. In 1844, he 
was again elected, by a considerable majority, over 
a very worthy gentleman of the opposite party, who 
was also his former competitor. This triumphant 
reelection was considered as nothing more than a 
just tribute to " capacity, sound political views, and 
high personal worth." During the four years which 
Mr. Gordon served in the national legislature, he 
was a stern and uncompromising advocate of the 
interests of the masses, and always stood foremost 
in the defence of the laboring man. In the twenty- 
seventh congress, amidst the greatest uproar and 
excitement perhaps ever witnessed in that body, he 
made a speech against the bill appropriating $25,000 
for the widow of the late President Harrison; and so 
little was he affected by the continued, almost deaf- 
ening interruptions, that they were seldom after- 
wards attempted. He showed that he was not a 
man who would permit the freedom of speech to be 
put down by noise. In these attempts to get rid of 
a speaker by clamor, perhaps both parties are equal- 


ly guilty. When will the reprehensible practice be 
abolished ? 

At the first session of the twenty-ninth congress, 
Mr. Gordon spoke with his usual ability upon near- 
ly all the great measures under consideration. His 
principal speech was upon the Oregon question, in 
which he strenuously advocated the validity of our 
claim to the whole territory. At the following ses- 
sion, he made the opening speech in favor of the 
Wilmot proviso, and he subsequently replied to the 
arguments on the other side. For both efforts he 
received the warm congratulations of his friends 
on the floor. Unlike some others, he went for the 
proviso without the least qualification ; and the flat- 
tering testimonials he afterwards received from his 
constituents, showed that his course was heartily 
approved by them. 

In 1842, he was admitted an attorney and coun- 
sellor in the supreme court of the United States. 

Of his ability as a lawyer, it is unnecessary to speak, 
as the numerous important cases which he has suc- 
cessfully conducted, will speak for themselves. In- 
heriting the irritable temperament of his father, he 
is an impassioned and zealous advocate, forgetting 
for the time every thing but the interests of his cli- 
ent, and in the performance of that duty, knowing 
neither friend nor foe. Keen, shrewd, active and 
persevering, he is the last man to be frightened out 
of what he conceives to be a duty. 

For the information of the curious, it may be 
stated that Mr. Gordon is, beyond doubt, a lineal 
descendant of Lord George Gordon. Of this, how- 
ever, he has never boasted, as he is one of those 
who hold that — 

Not stars and titles make a lord ; 

He 's only noble who is good ; 
Kind hearts are more than coronets, 

And freedom's gifts than Norman blood. 


It has been well remarked, that however unim- 
portant we may view such pretensions as are found- 
ed on ancestral worth alone, and however politic it 
may have been in a republican government to re- 
ject all claims to distinction, growing out of such a 
cause, we may still feel, and with propriety gratify 
a curiosity, as to the race whence our eminent pub- 
lic servants have drawn their descent. 

In conclusion, it must not be supposed that Mr. 
Gordon is a bachelor. He, at the age of twenty- 
nine, married Miss Frances Leet, and he has seve- 
ral children. 


This distinguished character, whose life we are 
about to sketch, is a striking instance of the truth 
of the remark, that the medical profession of the 
United States embraces within its circle, as much, 
if not more talent, than is to be found among any 
other class of men. It has been truly observed, 
that the perfect liberality of our institutions, both 
national and social, and the freedom of access to 
every situation in life, to the humblest individual, 
have produced among us a universal spirit of ambi- 
tion, which brings forward the talents of all to the 
public service. 

The paternal ancestor of Barent P. Staats, was 
Dr. Abraham Staats, who came from Holland to the 
city of Albany, New York, in the year 1642, and 
who, two years after his arrival, was appointed 
chairman of the council. The subject of this 
notice, was born in the town of Schodack, Rens- 
selaer county, New York, on the 25th of Sep- 


tember, 1796. His father, CoL Philip Staats, was a 
brave officer of the revolution. 

Barent, who at a very early age, manifested a 
great love of reading, received his academical edu- 
cation at Stuy vesant, Columbia county, New York, 
under the care of John Freeze. He afterwards 
studied medicine and surgery in the office of Dr. 
Joel A. Wing, of Albany, and at the Medical insti- 
tute in the city of New York. 

Among the numerous offices of honor and trust 
which he has held, are the following: President of 
the Albany County Medical society,three years; dele- 
gate and censor of the State Medical society, four 
years; health officer of the city of Albany, ten years; 
physician to the almshouse, five years; supervisor, 
eight years; alderman, three years; loan officer, 
eight years; president of the Albany County Mutual 
Insurance company, eleven years; director of the 
City bank, five years; he has been also a member 
of the legislature, and mayor of the city of Albany. 
While in the legislature, so zealously were his du- 
ties performed, that he was never absent during a 
single vote. O that others would follow his exam- 

At his election as mayor, in 1842, owing to his 
great personal popularity, he received an unprece- 
dented majority of six hundred votes, over one of 
the best and strongest candidates of the whig party. 
During that year, the common council held thirty 
regular and thirty-one special meetings, from all of 
which he was never absent for one moment. 

Having always been an active and warm friend 
to the temperance cause, he has for many years 
served on the executive committee of the New York 
State Temperance society. He is, it is believed, 
the only mayor in the state who refused to license 
grocers to sell ardent spirits, and his firmness in this 
respect will not soon be forgotten by the friends of 
the cause. 


This one act has raised him in the estimation of 
all good men, to a greater elevation than can ever 
be attained by courting popular favor, and prostitut- 
ing the influence of office, for the purpose of secur- 
ing a reelection. Dr. Staats is ore of those who 
remember that we live in a social world, in which 
we are not isolated beings, but are bound to each 
other by the most tender and endearing ties — that 
we are treading amid the most solemn relations — ■ 
that the thoughts we utter, the actions we do, are 
not like the waves, which leave no ripple-mark be- 
hind them, but possess a most energetic vitality, 
and live, either for good or evil, when the tongue 
is mute, and the hand is still. 

His inaugural address, to the common council of 
the city of Albany, on the subject of licensing gro- 
cers, is a masterly production, and well worthy of 

To him the city of Albany is indebted for many 
of its best improvements; and no one has done more 
to assist the young and enterprising than he. In 
him the sick and the needy, the poor and the op- 
pressed, have ever found a ready helper. 

He married in 1819, at the age of twenty-three; 
and has two daughters, of whom he has reason to 
be proud. His manners are affable, and his per- 
sonal appearance extremely prepossessing. He is a 
close reasoner, and a good debater. His character 
as a plrysician is too well known to require com- 



This talented writer is a descendant of one of the 
oldest families in Massachusetts. It is not ascer- 
tained, with certainty, that either of the pilgrims 
who landed at Plymouth bore the name, but it ap- 
pears from the books of the church of Charlestown, 
a history of which has recently been published by 
the Hon. Mr. Buddington, that Reuben Kettell be- 
came a member in 1635, fifteen years after the land- 
ing, and the name constantly recurs, as among new 
members, down to late dates. The paternal great- 
grandfather of Mr. Kettell, the Rev. Thomas Pren- 
tice, whose name he bears, graduated in 1725; and 
a few years afterwards was settled at York, in the 
state of Maine, when he was soon afterward trans- 
ferred to the church at Charlestown. He continued 
his pastoral duties at that place, until the edifice 
was destroyed by fire, at the battle of Bunker hill. 
After that event, and at a very advanced age, he 
preached in a log hut, built on the site of the church. 

Rebecca, the eldest daughter of the venerable 
pastor, married Deacon Joseph Kettell, who settled 
in Boston, where his sons, Thomas Preston and John 
Kettell, became eminent. Thomas married Miss 
Hannah Davis, who acquired some reputation as a 
poetess, under the signature of Juliana. She was a 
granddaughter of Col. Davis, for a long period head 
of the selectmen of Boston, and judge of the supreme 
court. A niece of Mr. Kettell married a son of the 
late William Gray, whose world-wide fame as an 
eminent and successful merchant, has reflected 
great credit on the Bay state. Her uncle, Hardy 
Pierce, was aid-de-camp to Gen. Gates, and was 
killed at the surrender of Burgoyne. 

The subject of this memoir, was born in Boston, 


in 1811. He was the second son of Thomas Pren- 
tice Kettell. After receiving a mercantile education 
in the store of J. & E. Phillips, sons of Lieut.-Gov. 
William Phillips, he travelled some years in Europe; 
but meeting with ill success in commercial pursuits, 
he returned to the United States, and adopted New 
York as his home. Here circumstances brought 
him into connexion with the press, at a time when 
a long period of speculation throughout the com- 
mercial world, had just suffered a revulsion, and 
when an over wrought banking system was falling 
into decay. Bringing the experience of great com- 
mercial connexions, and a clear judgment, with 
much financial tact to bear upon the nature of the 
case, he soon earned for the " money articles " of 
the Morning Herald, published by James G. Bennett, 
a great reputation, both at home and in foreign 
countries. The clearness of his diction, the accu- 
racy of his views, and the sagacity of his remarks, 
fully and promptly sustained by events as they 
transpired, fixed the attention of the commercial 
public, and rapidly increased the circulation of the 

The interest which Mr. Kettell imparted to the 
subject of financial reports, caused them to become 
an essential feature of every daily paper. 

In 1840, his connexion with the Herald having 
ceased, Mr. Kettell started the Gazette, a daily jour- 
nal, advocating the principles of free trade, of which 
he has always been an ardent and efficient supporter. 
Difficulties, however, arising with the publisher, 
amidst its dawning prosperity, the paper was aban- 
doned. Mr. Kettell then edited the Morning News, 
until he took charge of the Democratic Review, of 
which highly popular publication he is at present 
sole editor. 

The personal appearance of Mr. Kettell is prepos- 
sessing. His height is about five feet nine inches. 
He has a well-formed intellectual head. His fore- 


head is capacious. He is more of a political econo- 
mist than a literary man. His brother, the Rev. G-. 
F. Kettell, is pastor of the Vesey Street church, in 
New York city. 


This gentleman is favorably known among a 
large portion of the community, as the principal 
originator of the Young Men's association at Alba- 
ny; an institution which embraces in its circle, the 
very highest order of talent. He is the son of Na- 
thaniel and Rhoda Dean. His father was born at 
Hardwick, Massachusetts, in April, 1767, and when 
about twenty years of age, he emigrated to Barnard, 
Vermont, and was among the early settlers of that 
town. The maiden name of his mother was Rhoda 
Hammond. She was the daughter of Jabez Ham- 
mond, and was born at New Bedford, Massachusetts, 
in April, 1771. About seven years afterwards, she 
removed with her parents to Woodstock, Vermont. 
She is the direct lineal descendant, in the fifth ge- 
neration, from Admiral Penn, whose daughter Eliza- 
beth, the sister of Sir William Penn, married Wil- 
liam Hammond, of London, England, and who, after 
his death, in 1634, removed with her son Benjamin 
to Boston, where she died in 1640. 

After their marriage in 1801, the parents of Mr. 
Dean, settled on a small farm, in an obscure part 
of Barnard, an uneven, hard-favored, rocky town- 
ship, being in a primitive region, and abounding in 
all its peculiar characteristics. His father purchased 
the farm, then covered with an unbroken forest, for 
a hundred pounds sterling. By his own efforts he 
cleared it, and in due time realized the amount of 


the purchase money. This, however, required the 
patient industry of many years to accomplish ; but 
what will not singleness of aim, unity of means, 
and steadiness of purpose effect ? 

Amos, who was the eldest son, was horn on the 
16th of January, 1803. Born and nurtured among 
the mountain evergreens, which still continue to 
overspread so great a portion of Vermont, and with 
no early school facilities, his opportunities for men- 
tal culture, were of the most slender kind. It was 
his good fortune, however, to be blessed with a 
mother, who was a woman of superior mind. She 
had been a school mistress, and knew that children 
had minds as well as bodies. Hence she readily 
fostered the strong inclination, which her son mani- 
fested for the acquisition of knowledge. Although 
her time was necessarily occupied by her industrial 
pursuits, she was nevertheless his first and best in- 

An attendance upon a district school of some 
three months, during about five successive winters, 
enabled him to acquire the rudiments of a common 
education. He also had access to an old town li- 
brary, consisting mostly of theological works, and 
some books of travels and historical works. Ar- 
dently loving knowledge for its own sake, he thus 
acquired an early taste for historical reading. In 
his eighteenth year, while laboring upon the farm, 
he managed to acquire a respectable stock of Greek 
and Latin. He also taught school during the fol- 
lowing winter months, the avails of which he was 
suffered to retain. These small means enabled him 
to spend a few months at the academy in Randolph, 
Vermont, the only institution of the kind he ever 

In the autumn of 1825, Mr. Dean entered the 

senior class in Union college, having previously 

bought of his father his twenty-first year, to the 

services of which the latter was legally entitled. 



The consideration was, a release to the father, of all 
claim the son might ever have to the property as 
heir at law, one of the first and best bargains he 
ever made. Having graduated in July, 1826, Mr. 
Dean returned to his native town. In the fall of 
that year, he accepted the invitation of his maternal 
uncle, the Hon. Jabez D. Hammond, (author of the 
Political History of New York,) to remove to Alba- 
ny, and to enter the office of the latter, as a student 
at law. Mr. Dean has frequently remarked, that 
had it not been for the substantial aid and encou- 
ragement of this relative, he could not have perse- 
vered through the trials and difficulties, with which 
he had to contend. 

In the May term of 1829, Mr. Dean was admitted 
as an attorney in the supreme court of the state of 
New York. Ever since that period he has con- 
tinued in the successful practice of his profession 
at Albany. 

In April, 1833, Mr. Dean delivered the annual 
address before the Albany Institute. The subject 
was the Philosophy of History. The address was 
printed, and extensively copied by the press. It 
was in the fall of that year, that his attention was 
drawn to the principle of association, for the pur- 
pose of social, moral, and intellectual improvement; 
and with the aid of a few others, he succeeded in 
getting up, and establishing upon a permanent foot- 
ing, the Young Men's association for mutual im- 
provement, in the city of Albany. This is justly 
claimed to be the first institution of the kind, that 
ever existed in this country. Of the fruits which it 
has already borne, and of the many prominent public 
men, who, but for its beneficial influence, would 
have remained in obscurity, it is unnecessary to 

Mr. Dean was its first president, and reelected 
for a second term. The institution has been incor- 
porated, and is in a very flourishing condition, 


and associations of a similar character are now in 
operation in nearly all the cities and villages of the 

In 1840, Mr. Dean presided at a convention of 
Young Men's associations of the state of New York, 
held at Utica. The result was, an organization of 
the whole into a state association, of which Mr. 
Dean was elected president, and he delivered the 
first annual address. 

Some years since, Mr. Dean delivered before the 
Albany association, a very interesting course of lec- 
tures, on the subject of phrenology. The lectures 
were published, and furnished an ample theme for 
discussion, among that class who are apt to con- 
demn every thing that is new. In 1839, he had 
published in Boston, the Philosophy of Human Life, 
being an investigation of the great elements of life. 
This was a very elaborate work, but adapted to a 
class of readers and thinkers, not very numerous in 
this country. He also published a very valuable 
practical work, entitled a Manual of Law, for the 
use of business men. 

On the 5th of October, 1840, Mr. Dean delivered 
before the State Agricultural society, a eulogy on 
the occasion of the death of the late Jesse Buel, and 
which was afterwards printed by the society. In 
July, 1840, he delivered the first annual address be- 
fore the senate of Union college. 

In the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, he was 
instrumental, with some others, in establishing the 
Albany Medical college. At the commencement of 
that institution, Mr. Dean received the appointment 
of professor of medical jurisprudence, a department 
in which he has continued to lecture at every term 
since its organization. In 1840, Prof. Dean pub- 
lished a Manual of Medical Jurisprudence, designed 
solely for the use of the classes attending his lec- 

On the 14th of September, 1^42, Prof. Dean was 


united in marriage with Miss E. Joana Davis, of 
Uxbridge, Massachusetts. How needful is the smile 
of woman to gild the laurels of the brave, and to 
cheer the labors of the wise ! 


It has been truly observed, that honor and fame 
are the legitimate reward of virtue and talent; and 
that beneficially placed within the reach of all, they 
appear like trophies, to be won and worn, by those 
who successfully contend against indolence and 
vice. An attestation of this truth will be found in 
our brief sketch of the late Silas Wright. 

He was born at Amherst, Massachusetts, on the 
24th of May, 1795. In 1815, he graduated at Mid- 
dlebury college, Vermont. In 1819, he was licensed 
to practice law in the supreme court of the state of 
New York. He then removed to Canton, St. Law- 
rence county, where he continued to reside until his 
death. At that time the village was new, and the 
business in the courts very limited and unprofitable. 
A client was almost as rare as snow in harvest, and 
the fees were not by any means of such a character 
as to cause the farmers to envy the lawyers. All 
his father was able to advance him, was $200, one- 
half of which Silas expended in the purchase of a 
few books, while the other half was reserved to 
meet his more immediate necessities. "We can 
easily imagine," says the Democratic Review, "how 
forlorn must have been the condition of young 
Wright, in this, the commencement of his profes- 
sional career, without property, or any relations or 
friends near him, and surrounded by strangers, and 
when he saw that he must rely solely on his own 


efforts and merits to sustain himself. Yet we do 
not doubt, could the truth be known, that in this 
trying crisis, he found precious consolation in the 
conviction, that he must rise by the force of his 
abilities to distinction. It is this early suffering and 
training, that prepares men of great talents to make 
their way good up the steep and rugged ascents of 

Finding that his small means were rapidly wast- 
ing away, he accepted the office of village post- 
master, which brought him nearly two dollars per 
week. This small sum served to pay his board, 
and to "keep the wolf from the door," so that he 
took heart, seeing as it were a faint streak of the 
coming sunlight gradually breaking upon him. 

Shortly afterwards, charmed by his winning man- 
ner, and social qualities, his fellow citizens elected 
him a militia officer; and it maybe easily imagined 
from his well known disposition, that he was never 
asked "to resign." 

In January, 1824, he took his seat in the state 
senate, and in 1827, he was elected to congress. In 
1829, while in the discharge of his duties at Wash- 
ington, he received the appointment of comptroller 
of New York, which office he held for three years. 
In 1832, he was again elected to congress. In this 
year, owing to the election of Wm. L. Marcy, as go- 
vernor, Mr. Wright was elected to succeed him in 
the senate. His term expired in March, 1837, but 
on the first term of the preceding February, he was 
reelected for the constitutional period of six years. 

After the close of the twenty-seventh congress, 
the forlorn young village post-master, who rejoiced 
at his two dollars per week, became governor of the 
state of New York. 

On the 1st of January, 1847, he retired to private 
life, in the village of Canton, where he resided in 
his small wooden house, until the evening of the 
27th of August, when he was suddenly called to 


that " house not made with hands, eternal in the 

Now that he is gathered to his fathers s and the 
bitterness of party spirit is lost in the grave, all are 
willing to acknowledge his merits and patriotism. 
From his tomb fresh laurels will spring up, and 
mingle their odor with the evergreens of enduring 


This self-made man, who, through his popular ma- 
gazine, is known in every part of the world, is a na- 
tive of Quincy, Massachusetts. He was born on 
the 21st of March, 1804. He is one of those who 
attach no great importance to ancestors, only so far 
as their virtues may be inherited. On his mother's 
side were the Turners and Stetsons, who left Eng- 
land in 1630, and settled at Scituate, near Fly- 
mouth, Massachusetts. His father, Nathan Hunt, 
was a shipmaster, and died when Freeman was 
only three years of age. The latter chose the print- 
ing business, as being the best adapted to the ac- 
quisition of knowledge that his circumstances, and 
those of his mother, would permit. During his 
minority, he had a good deal of up-hill work to per- 
form, and experienced not a little of the rough and 
tumble of the world. But his motto has always 
been — "Hope on, forever" — and through Provi- 
dence, which ever provides for those who provide 
for themselves, he is now in very easy circum- 
stances. He has no debts, although he has paid 
not a few for others, and he has enough of this 
world's goods to make him and his comfortable. 
His ideas of enough, however, are not quite so ex- 


travagant as some of his fellow citizens, who "by 
their actions, do not appear to be aware that there 
is such a word in the language, and he is ever ready 
to share a dollar with those who need it more than 

Our grave subject, facetiously says the New York 
Evening Mirror, is a cross between an author and a 
merchant; he has not the carelessness of the one, 
nor the primness of the other, but a mixture of the 
two. He is the proprietor and editor of that unique 
periodical, the Merchants' Magazine. 

Like Yankee boys in general, he picked up the 
rudiments of an English education at a country 
school, and was apprenticed to a Boston printer at 
the age of fourteen. A printer's trade, a common 
education, and a brave heart, have formed the sole 
capital of many a great man in the republic. Free- 
man Hunt, like Benjamin Franklin, and many a 
true man besides, with these simple elements, has 
achieved a position in the world, and kept his honor 
untarnished. No sooner was he out of his time, 
than he began to think of establishing himself 
in the world ; and instead of squatting upon 
soil which another man had cleared, with the true 
energy of a Yankee, he looked about him for a spot 
which no man had yet improved — a no-man's land 
— that he could claim for his own by right of prior 
discovery. At that time there was not one of those, 
now numerous publications, called ladies' maga- 
zines; and with a true insight into the wants of the 
reading public, he projected a periodical similar to 
the Lady's Book, which, we believe, he called the 
Lady's Magazine. Mrs. Sarah J. Hale was just at- 
tracting notice by her first novel, and Mr. Hunt 
purchased the use of her name as editress. The 
magazine succeeded, but did not satisfy the ambi- 
tion of the proprietor. He sold out, and began the 
republication of the Penny Magazine, which reach- 
ed a sale of 5000 numbers. This work he soon 


abandoned, and the Berwick company being got up 
by an association of authors, artists, printers and 
bookbinders, whose object was the publication of 
their own works, he took charge of it. Mr. Hunt 
was the managing director, and displayed wonder- 
ful talents at financiering, for as the association had 
nothing but talents and genius, it required no ordi- 
nary degree of financial skill to exchange their pro- 
ducts for grosser materials, without which they 
could do nothing. 

While in the management of this company, he 
projected the American Magazine of Useful and 
Literary Knowledge, and conducted its editorial de- 
partment while he remained with the company, 
which was dissolved soon after he left it. 

He then got up two volumes of American Anec- 
dotes, which were highly successful, and have form- 
ed a magazine of wealth for succeeding book mak- 
ers; then, the American Pulpit, an episcopalian 

In 1831, he removed to New York, and establish- 
ed a weekly newspaper, called The Traveler. In 
1834, he published a Comprehensive Atlas, which 
was very successful. Afterwards he wrote letters 
to some of the Boston papers, and published a popu- 
lar work called Letters about the Hudson, which 
passed through three editions. 

His next enterprise was the Merchants' Magazine, 
a work entirely original in its plan, and which was 
successful from its start. By his singular tact, good 
management and industry, he has built up a work 
on a plan which is so obviously right now, that peo- 
ple wonder it was never done before. 

The success of Mr. Hunt is a remarkable instance 
of what may be accomplished by patient persever- 
ance, and honorable conduct; and his example 
should serve to stimulate the exertions of the thou- 
sands of young men who are daily launched upon 


the world to seek their fortunes, with no other capi- 
tal than their strong- arms and honest hearts. 

We believe that Mr. Hunt has never taken an ac- 
tive part in partizan politics ; he has, however, been 
a firm and consistent advocate of free trade since 
the commencement of his magazine, and is one of 
the sound writers on political economy which this 
country has produced. 

Mr. Willis, in particular, has made him the sub- 
ject of repeated comment. He says, in the Mirror: 

Hunt has been glorified in the Hong-Kong Ga- 
zette, is regularly complimented by the English 
mercantile authorities, has every bank in the world 
for an eager subscriber, every consul, every ship- 
owner and navigator; is filed away as authority in 
every library, and thought of in half the countries 
of the world, as early as No. 3, in their enumeration 
of distinguished Americans — yet who seeks to do 
him honor, in the city he does honor to ? The Mer- 
chants' Magazine, though a prodigy of perseverance 
and industry, is not an accidental development of 
Hunt's energies. He has always been singularly 
sagacious and original in devising new works and 
good ones. He was the founder of the first ladies' 
magazine ; of the first children's periodical ; he 
started the American Magazine of Useful and En- 
tertaining Knowledge ; compiled the best known 
collection of American anecdotes; and is an inde- 
fatigable writer — the author, among other things, 
of Letters about the Hudson. 

Hunt was a playfellow of ours, in round-jacket 
days, and we have always looked at him with a 
reminiscent interest. His luminous, eager eyes, 
as he goes along the street, eagerly bent on his er- 
rand, would impress any observer with an idea of 
his genius and determination, and we think it quite 
time his earnest head was in the engraver's hand, 
and his daily passing by, a mark for the digito mon~ 


str<m. Few more worthy or more valuable citizens 
are among us. 

He is earnest, eager, combining in a very singu- 
lar manner, general coolness and occasional excit- 
ability. He is a true friend, and the enemy of no 
man. His heart is full of the warmest sympathies 
and charities. No one in New York is more uni- 
versally popular. And it is worthy of remark, that 
in striving to build himself up, Mr. Hunt has never 
endeavored to pull others down. His doctrine is, 
" Live and let live." 

He is about five feet eight inches in height, well 
proportioned; complexion light florid; forehead 
capacious; chin massive and projecting, indicative 
(according to Lavater, and general experience) of 
that energy which is, in fact, the chief point of his 
character; hair light brown, very fine, of a web-like 
texture, worn long, and floating about the face; 
eyes of wonderful brilliancy, and intensity of ex- 
pression; the whole countenance beaming with 
sensibility and intelligence. 

He is married, and nearly forty-four years of 



" Franklin drew the lightning from heaven, but 
Morse gave it a voice," was the eloquent remark of 
one, who with others, gloried in claiming this cele- 
brated professor as an American, whose name shall 
go down to posterity, as the founder of a new era in 
the transmission of intelligence. And truly, when 
the nations shall converse across their oceans, and 
the winged words shall fly to the ends of the earth, 
uniting the whole human race in a circle of know- 
ledge, conveyed in "one language and one speech," 
then shall the name of Morse be recorded, when 
those of heroes and emperors shall have been lost 
in the vortex of revolutions. 

Prof Morse was born on the 27th day of Septem- 
ber, 1791, at Bunker Hill, Charlestown, Massachu- 
setts — the great battle-ground, famous forever in 
the annals of our country. He is the son of the late 
Jedediah Morse, the father of American geography, 
and the great-grandson of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Fin- 
ley, president of Princeton college, New Jersey. He 
was educated at Yale college, where he graduated 
in 1810. 

In the following year he went to London, to cul- 
tivate a taste which he had acquired for the fine 
arts. He resided there for four years, and was a 
pupil of those distinguished masters, Washington 
Allston and Benjamin West. During this period, 
he produced many choice paintings, and received a 
gold medal for the best specimen of sculpture. The 
subject was, the Dying Hercules. This was his 
first effort in sculpture. At the same time, he had 
several paintings in the Royal exhibition. 

In 1815, Mr. Morse returned to his native coun- 
try, and occupied his time for seven or eight years, 


chiefly at the south, as a portrait paiftter. But 
higher honors awaited him. In 1824, or 1825, he 
was the prime mover and getter-up of the Na- 
tional Academy of Design, of which we have just 
reason to be proud. 

In 1829, the subject of our sketch again visited 
the old world, and remained in Italy and France, 
pursuing his studies in the fine arts, until 1832. 
During a considerable portion of this time, he re- 
sided in Rome, Florence and Venice. He returned 
from Havre to America, in the packet-ship Sully, 
and on his passage his active mind conceived the 
idea of the electro-magnetic telegraph. 

All the telegraphs in Europe, which are practica- 
ble, are based on a different principle, and, without 
an exception, were invented subsequently to his. 
Says Prof. Morse, in a letter to Stephen Vail, Esq. : 

" The thought occurred to me in general conver- 
sation with the passengers. I ought perhaps to 
say, that the conception of the idea of an electric 
telegraph, was original with me at the time, and I 
suppose that I was the first that ever associated the 
two ideas together. Nor was it until my invention 
was completed, and had been successfully operated 
through ten miles, that I, for the first time, learned 
that the idea of an electric telegraph had been con- 
ceived by another. To me, it was original, and its 
total dissimilarity to all the inventions, and even 
the suggestions from others, may be thus account- 
ed for. I had not the remotest hint from others, 
till my whole invention was in successful opera- 

The claims of Prof. Morse are now universally 
acknowledged, and at a very recent meeting of the 
British Association for the Promotion of Science, Sir 
Robert Inglis, the president elect, admitted that to 
the United States belongs the honor of having first 
successfully introduced the electric telegraph. 

The personal appearance of Prof. Morse bespeak? 


the philosopher. He is tall and slender, has an in- 
tellectual forehead, and the snows of time have 
slightly sprinkled his hair. A more unassuming 
man cannot be found ; and, had it not been for his 
extreme modesty, congress would have employed 
him to construct the first experimental line, between 
Washington and Baltimore, at a much earlier pe- 
riod than they did. 

He is not a man of ordinary mould, for were we 
to deprive him of his imperishable honors as the 
discoverer of the telegraph, we must, as an artist, 
still place him high on the pedestal of fame. 


Upon the incidents of whose eventful life, Mr. 
Gait founded his immortal story of "LaWrie 
Todd," is still living, at Astoria, Long Island. He 
landed at New York on the 16th of June, 1794,with 
only three cents in his pocket. His trade was that 
of a wrought nail maker. At that time, cut nails 
were not manufactured in the United States. "In 
a few years, however," says he, in a letter to a 
friend, "the cut nails cut me out of employment. I 
then for some years kept a retail grocery; but a 
friend, having a heavier purse, and more knowledge 
of the business, commenced the same trade beside 
me, and cut me out of that also. I then painted 
the common earthen-ware flower pots with green 
varnish. This was in 1799. The pot painting soon 
became a thriving business. One day in April, 
1800, I for the first time observed a man selling 
plants at the Old Fly market, at the foot of Maiden 
lane. In passing in a careless manner, I took a 
leaf from a plant, and was surprised to find a green 


leaf smell like a rose-bud. I asked its name. The 
owner replied, ' a rose geranium.' It was the first 
time I had heard the word pronounced — the first 
time that I knew there was a geranium in the 
world. By means of this plant, Providence led me 
by a way I knew not, into the seed business. It 
was a fine, healthy plant, and thinks I to myself, it 
will look well in one of my green varnished pots, to 
stand on my counter and draw attention. I had no 
intention to sell it. Next day, however, some per- 
son purchased both plant and pot— and I cleared 
twenty-five cents by the speculation. On the fol- 
lowing market day, I purchased two plants, put 
them into green pots and sold them. In a few 
weeks my stock of plants numbered two dozen. I 
erected a stage inside the door facing the street, and 
they made quite an imposing appearance. It drew 
attention. It was something new under the sun — 
a man selling plants in a store. Our citizens, when 
showing their country friends the wonders of our 
wonderful city, would pilot them at times to see 
my plants. Certain ones among them, would very 
much wish to take home with them, ' this rose,' 
' that geranium,' or ' the beautiful myrtle by its 
side' — but after getting to the landing, they had 
forty miles land carriage, and it would get broke in 
the wagon. Then they would ask for the seed of 
the plant. On other occasions, they would ask for 
radish, cabbage, or any other vegetable seed they 
thought of. These inquiries were perhaps made 
some hundred times, before the idea of selling seed 
entered my mind. At length, thinks I, why not 
sell seeds as well as flowers? Here was the rub. 
No one saved more than he wanted for his own 
use, and there was no market for them. Perhaps 
one farmer raised too much beet, so he would ex- 
change with him who raised an overplus of carrot 
seed, etc. 

"By this time I and my friend the gardener, from 


whom I obtained the plants I sold, were getting to 
understand one another. He kept his plants, etc., 
on the ground, in Brooklyn, since known as the 
military garden. I consulted him in the matter, 
and, says he, I am now raising seeds to sell next 
spring in the market, along with my plants, but if 
you take my stock, I will raise seeds and plants for 
you to sell. I accordingly took his stock, amount- 
ing to fifteen dollars. This, like the small mustard 
seed, has since filled the length and the breadth of 
the land. 

" Thus, without foresight, or plan of my own, I 
worked into this business. The cut nails made me 
a grocer. Being supplanted in the grocery, led me 
to painting. The painting of pots induced me to 
purchase a plant to show them off. Keeping plants 
induced people to ask for seeds ! The cutting ma- 
chine, and being supplanted, I thought were sore 
evils, at the time ; but as we afterwards see, even in 
this life, sore evils are blessings in disguise." 

About twelve years ago, Mr. Thorburn published 
the history of his life, in a work entitled Forty 
Years Residence in America, or the Doctrine of a 
Particular Providence, exemplified in the Life of 
Grant Thorburn. In 1834, he published, Men and 
Manners, or a Bone to Knaw, for Troll ope, Fidler, 
etc.; in 1845, Fifty Years Reminiscences of New 
York, a Flower from the Garden of Lawrie Todd." 

The following extract from one of a number 
of communications of Mr. Thorburn, to the New 
York Mirror, in 1846, cannot but be interesting, for 
its originality of style and strong common sense: 

" In taking a retrospect while I sat in my door in 
the cool of the (Jackson's funeral) day, I thought, 
were I to live my life over again, I would just ma- 
nage my treaty of peace with the lasses after the 
same mode and form which I pursued fifty years 
ago ; therefore, my young friends, I will just de- 
scribe the process, and say unto thee, ' go thou and 


do likewise." When I emerged from the hut 
wherein I first drew breath (in Scotland), I looked 
on the daughters of men, and saw that they were 
fair; I resolved that as soon as I could earn one 
shilling sterling (twenty-two cents) per day, I would 
enter into copartnership for life with one of those 
beautiful articles. What God makes beautiful, it 
is for man to admire. Perceiving by statistical ta- 
bles, that the God of nature sent about the same 
num ber of men and women into the world, I there- 
fore thought it must be his law, that every man 
should have his mate at once, and leave conse- 
quences and provisions for the future to Him who 
hangs creation on His arm, and feeds her at his 
board. It is fifty years since I ratified that treaty 
of peace, love, and amity, and never, for one mo- 
ment, did I repent it ; nor did I ever lack a loaf in 
the pantry, or a dollar in my purse. If God sent 
another mouth, he always sent food to fill it. With 
regard to courtship — it is the easiest thing in the 
world. Love is the language of nature — the veriest 
fool, if he can't pronounce, can speak it with his 
eyes, and women are nice interpreters. When 
first thinking of these important affairs, I resolved 
never to spend an hour in the private conversation 
of any young woman, till I was determined on tak- 
ing to myself a wife — and in the next place, never 
to spend an hour with any, except she was the one 
whom, above all others in the world, I wished to 
make a wife. On this principle I practised, and I 
prospered. There is nothing to be gained by dang- 
ling after a sensible woman for a twelve-month, 
talking unmeaning stuff — words without know- 
ledge. You mistake the sex, if you expect to gain 
their favor by this means. While you think they 
are laughing at your small wit, they are smiling at 
your great folly. If you wish to gain the esteem of 
a sensible woman, (and let me tell you, they have 
more wit, in general, than half of the men,) you 


If God sent another mouth, he alway sent food to fill it. p. 184 


must speak to her in the words of truth and sober- 
ness. After three or four sittings, (as the portrait 
maker says,) tell her your intentions at once, like a 
man, not like a blubbering school boy; and if there 
is seven ounces of common sense in your carcass, 
she will be yours in one month; and if you behave 
like a man of sense while you walk together by the 
way, the honey-moon will never wane, but grow 
brighter and brighter, till you put up at the last inn 
by the wayside — the grave. Having now got mar- 
ried, devote the leisure hours to nourish and cherish 
your wife; leave politics, whig and tory, to the pure 
democracy, they will make as many presidents for 
you, gratis, as will serve for a life time. If your 
circumstances are easy, and thou art fond of out- 
door amusements, let your wife be your constant 
companion — it is unkind, unmanly, and unpolitic 
to leave her moping alone, whilst thou art abroad 
finding thy own pleasures. If it is thy lot to earn 
thy bread by the sweat of thy brow, when the labor 
of the day is past, devote the evening to the com- 
pany of thy wife; if there are no extra cares to pre- 
vent, walk together in one of the beautiful parks, 
or go to hear a lecture (where it is gratis) — thus you 
will learn something, and make a long" evening 

C5" OCT 

seem short. If thy wife is engaged in repairing thy 
garments, or smoothing thy linen, then sit by the ta- 
ble (one candle will serve both) and read to her the 
news of the day, or some useful book ; if children 
are to be cared for, stay at home and do your part; 
if one is fretful, take it on your knees, and sing to it, 
'Auld Lang Syne;' if the other stirs in the cradle, 
put your foot on the rocker — this will lighten the 
cares of your partner, and bring a smile on the face 
you are wont to admire — I speak from fifty years 

That portion of his advice to a husband, when a 
wife begins to exhibit symptoms of extravagance in 
furniture, etc., is irresistible. Says he : 


" Fly, as you would the plague, all temptations 
to purchase plate. Perhaps your wife attends a 
tea- water company, at the house of Mrs. Van Pelt. 
Mr. Van Pelt is an old established, thriving trader. 
On the table is a silver tea-pot, sugar-bowl, and 
tongs. You go to see your wife home — she looks 
sad — and on the way she never opens her mouth. 
Having got home, she takes her stand at the glass, 
while untying her hat. Her late pretty face is now 
as long as a bean pole. She looks as sober as a 
church-mouse — you are distressed on her account 
— in the most soothing manner possible, you inquire 
what is the matter with your dear Maria? She 
looks as if she had lost all her friends — for one 
minute she won't speak, and, perhaps, she begins 
to cry. Now, be cool, take it easy, and acquit thy- 
self like a man. These tears are the grape-shot, 
which the ladies always carry in the fountain of 
their sparkling eyes — with it they mow down their 
opponents as fast as did the invincibles of Bona- 
parte on the plains of Wagram. We have whole- 
hog, half-alligator, and half-horse men in Tennes- 
see and Kentucky; they will stand before Colt's 
six-barrel revolving pistols; but there is not ten 
men between Plymouth rock and the shore of the 
Pacific that can stand the shot from a woman's eye. 
As I advised above, keep cool for a space, and say 
nothing; sit on a chair near enough to be heard; 
cover your face with sackcloth, whimper,* and cry 
a little, just by way of galvanic sympathy. As soon 
as she hears you sigh, her tender heart will relent, 
and instantly become your comforter. Now, you 
will hear that all this muckle adoe about ntf thing was 
only a storm in a tea-pot — this hateful tea-pot, this 
sugar-bowl, and milk-pot. ' I am sure, Mr. Snod- 
grass, you can afford me a silver tea-pot as well as 
Mr. Van Pelt does to his wife,' &c. Now, another 
crystal tear is rolling across her pretty eyes — don't 
look on them — you will be shot ; for her sake, for 


your own sake, and for the sake of the next gene- 
ration, don't give up the ship; draw closer your 
chair; commence a mild and soothing speech, 
sprinkled now and then with some of the elegant 
extracts, metaphors and epithets, with which you 
were wont to address your Maria, ten days before 
marriage. Begin the exordium as follows — " You 
know, my dear, that Mr. Van Pelt has been long 
established in a profitable and certain business- 
has made a fortune, and is now on the point of re- 
tiring; whereas, we are only beginning with a small 
capital. I can't conduct my business without bor- 
rowing money from the banks — (bank discounts.) 
When I borrow $100 from the bank, I pay $7 every 
year interest. Were we to get this silver tea-pot, 
milk-pot, sugar-bowl, and tongs, they would cost 
nearly, or may be over, $300. Now, the interest on 
$300, is $21 per annum. This would buy you a 
good summer and a good winter hat, and a thou 
sand times rather would I look on your pretty face 
under a handsome hat, than to see you pouring tea 
from a silver tea-pot, to wet the mouths of some, 
who might go home and laugh at what they would 
call our extravagance.' I believe your wife is a 
sensible woman, and will relent at once." 

Mr. Thorburn became naturalized while Wash- 
ington was President. He has married more than 
once, and is the father of many talented and fine 
grown men and women. His height is only four 
feet ten inches, and his weight not more than 
ninety-eight pounds; and yet, says the London 
Morning Herald, previous to his emigration to New 
York, he beeame an object of dread to the British 
government, as one of the " friends of the people." 
He is now in his 75th year, and in the enjoyment 
of good health. 



Is a native of New York city. He was born in 
William street, near the old Dutch church, on the 
third of April, 1783. Recent writers are in error in 
supposing that the house is still standing. It was 
taken down many years ago, and upon the spot 
stands a large brick building. Very soon after his 
birth, however, his parents removed to the house 
opposite, No. 128 William street, next door to 
Samuel Guilford, Esq., who has lived upon the spot 
for more than seventy years. This house, occupied 
as a store, is still standing. His father and mother 
were natives of Scotland. The former kept a store in 
William street many years, and was a man of high 
character and respectability, although not of a lite- 
rary turn. Mrs. Irving was a woman of fine attain- 
ments and great energy. They had five sons and 
one daughter. The sons received the best educa- 
tion that the country afforded, and were all pos- 
sessed of superior talents. William, the eldest, a 
merchant, was ah excellent classical scholar, and 
well versed in the modern languages. He was for 
many years a member of congress, from the state 
of New York. Peter, the second son, studied medi- 
cine, and at one time kept a drug store in Broad- 
way, near Partition (now Fulton) street. He after- 
wards became editor of the Morning Chronicle, a 
paper established to support the election of Col. 
Burr. The third son, was the late Judge Irving. 
The fourth, was Ebenezer, a merchant and auc- 
tioneer. Washington, was ?the youngest. He re- 
ceived his education at Columbia college, and his 
first buddings forth, as a writer, were in a series of 
communications to the Morning Chronicle, under 
the signature of Jonathan Oldstyle. It appears that 


even his brother, the editor of the paper, did not at 
first know the name of his anonymous contributor; 
and that often, in the presence of the latter, he and 
others would speculate upon the subject. On one 
occasion, however, Washington being unable to 
preserve the gravity of his countenance, the secret 
came out. It has been stated that he manifested, 
in his youth, an almost melancholy disposition, but 
the gentleman from whom much of the above in- 
formation has been elicited, and who was intimate- 
ly acquainted with the subject of our sketch, never 
discovered any foundation for such a remark. On 
the contrary, says he, until threatened with con- 
sumption, he was always full of frolic, and ever 
ready to join in any mischief. 

Mr. Irving studied law with the celebrated Josiah 
Ogden Hoffman, Esq., and was honorably admitted 
to practice. It is said that he actually opened an 
office in the legal quarter of the city, with the words : 



upon his door, and was once alarmed by the appear- 
ance of a client. But it appears that " an oppres- 
sive feeling of diffidence caused him. to shrink from 
trying the cause, and it was gladly abandoned to a 
brother lawyer of far less talent, but who had a 
more happy degree of confidence in his own foren- 
sic abilities. This diffidence, literary success has 
converted into an innate and unaffected modesty, 
that adds not a little to his agreeable qualities, and 
which is rare in a person possessing the high repu- 
tation he enjoys." 

Of his literary career, his travels, and his mission 
to Spain, it is now unnecessary to dwell upon. It 


will be sufficient to say, that if " there ever was a 
writer whose reputation flourishes greenly in two 
hemispheres, who has made friends of every class 
of the people, who is read with as much pleasure 
by childhood as by age, who has attained the rare 
felicity of filling the hearts of all his admirers with 
a feeling of personal interest, who has interwoven 
his own name with the traditionary history or cus- 
toms of three different and distinct countries, and 
whose fame has suffered no diminution from the 
time he first broke upon the literary world, till he 
has virtually withdrawn from it, that writer is 
Washington Irving !" 


A criminal lawyer of extensive practice in New 
York city. He was born at Brighton, Sussex coun- 
ty, England, on the fourth of April, 1803. His fa- 
ther, who was a miller and biscuit baker, was not 
able to give him more than a very limited educa- 
tion. By intimations from a relative of the earl of 
Harrington, it was expected that Thomas, when of 
sufficient age, would receive employment under 
government — but he was disappointed. His parents 
then strongly urged him, as an only son, to remain 
with them in their business; but he had higher 
thoughts. He had taken a strong fancy to the le- 
gal profession. He adored law books, and learned 
counsellors in big wigs, and silk gowns, appeared 
to him in dreams. He had not the remotest idea 
of spending his life in baking biscuits. A friend of 
the family sympathized with him, and evinced his 
sincerity by procuring him an opportunity of enter- 
ing the office of Charles Pearson, Esq., the present 


solicitor of London; but he was not permitted to 
embrace it, his father being inflexible, and his mo- 
ther denouncing the lawyers. So the parties had 
now fairly joined issue. It was "Bakery versus 
Law." Could the result be doubtful ? No : for who 
ever heard of the law being worsted ? Thomas 
" snapped a judgment" against the plaintiff, and at 
the age of sixteen left the bakery — not like Whitt- 
ington, with a cat, but — with a hundred pounds 
sterling, the savings of his youth, in his pocket. 
With this he articled himself to a member of the 
bar; but, owing to inexperience in such matters, he 
did not make such a bargain as would enable him 
to demand a regular course of instruction. He had 
therefore to labor under serious difficulties in ac- 
quiring the requisite knowledge, and at the same 
time to procure a living. But he conquered diffi- 
culties by attempting them, and at the expiration 
of his term, he, as an attorney, entered into an ex- 
tensive practice. For several years he was engaged 
in criminal prosecutions, under the auspices of the 
secretary of state for the home department, and the 
metropolitan police magistrates. The extent of his 
business may be inferred from the fact, that on one 
occasion, at the assizes for the court of Surrey, the 
records show, that he was engaged in forty out of 
the eighty cases on the calendar. On another oc- 
casion, he conducted the prosecution of three noto- 
rious burglars, with so much skill, that Justice 
Gadzdee publicly ordered him to be paid an extra 
fee of twenty guineas out of the county treasury. 
He was engaged by the home department to pro- 
cure the arrest and conviction of the murderers of 
Mr. Richardson, on Barnstead Downs, in Surrey. 
Having five police officers at his disposal, he scour- 
ed the countryfor some weeks, and eventually cap- 
tured two men and a woman, as the supposed cul- 
prits. The magistrate before whom they were tak- 
en, not deeming the evidence sufficiently strong, 


discharged them ; but at a subsequent period, one 
of the men, when at the gallows for another offence, 
confessed that he and his companions committed 
the murder. Among other important cases in 
which Mr. Warner was engaged, was that of Major 
Beauclerk, a relative of the duke of St. Albans, and 
who under a charge of a revolting crime, cut his 
throat while in prison; also, that of Captain Henry 
Nicholls, of the British army, who was executed for 
a similar disgusting offence. 

In 1*35, Mr. Warner emigrated to this country; 
but on arriving at New York, he found that a long 
probationary term must precede permission to prac- 
tice. After remaining three days, he tossed up a 
halfpenny, to decide as to whether he would stay, or 
return to London; and the die was cast in favor of 
remaining. Upon what trifles does our fate depend. 
Was it chance which caused the coin to fall as it 
did ? His mind being made up, he at once declar- 
ed his intention of becoming a citizen, and sought 
employment, in whatever shape it might offer. He 
was soon engaged in the office of the clerk of the 
common council, in preparing some old corporation 
records for the press. Here he remained for about 
three months, during which period he wrote, upon 
an average, a hundred and twenty folios per day, at 
six cents per folio. He then, for the first time in 
his life, directed his attention to the press, and was 
successfully engaged as reporter and assistant city 
editor for the New York Daily Advertiser, the Times, 
the Transcript, and other papers. In this depart- 
ment, his great capacity for labor, and his extensive 
general knowledge, rendered him a valuable coad- 
jutor. During that time he tried his hand at spe- 
culation, but came out a loser. 

In 1838, he succeeded in forming a connection in 
the legal business, with A. O. Millard, Esq., with a 
view to admission to the American bar. In the fall 
of that year, in consideration of his previous studies 


in England, he was admitted to the New York court 
of common pleas; and in 1839, attorney and coun- 
sellor in the supreme and district courts. In 1844, 
he became an attorney and counsellor in the su- 
preme court of the United States, having thus, by 
his indomitable energy fully proved the wisdom of 
his motto: " nil desperandum" The main secret of 
his success was — attention to business. He adopt- 
ed the plan of a facetious writer, who in his advice 
to lawyers, says: "Put a couple of pounds of bird- 
lime upon your office stool, and sit down upon it; 
get a chain round your leg, and tie yourself to your 
desk; nail yourself up against the wall of your of- 
fice like a weasel on a barn door, or the sign of the 
spread eagle ; and my life for yours, if you do not 
do business. You may get fat upon a rock, if you 
never quit hold of it." 

It is scarcely necessary to enumerate the many 
important cases in which Mr. "Warner has been en- 
gaged since his admission to the American bar. 
Many of them are still fresh in the public mind. 
There was his successful defence of Christiana Co- 
chrane, alias Gilmour (the first extraditio case un- 
der the Ashburton treaty,) who was arrested on a 
charge of murdering her husband, in Scotland, and 
who was afterwards tried there and acquitted. He 
has also distinguished himself as a successful advo- 
cate, in several highly important suits, involving 
patent rights. In conjunction with Mr. Brady, he 
defended William Leighton, who was tried before 
Judge Kent, upon a charge of having murdered his 
wife, at his tailor's store in Broadway, and of setting 
fire to the premises, to conceal the murder. After 
an exciting trial, of more than a week, Leighton 
was acquitted. This case excited unusual interest, 
inasmuch as the body exhibited no external or in- 
ternal cause of death. The medical witnesses all 
differed from each other, on many important points, 
and so singular was the subject deemed, that the 


last American edition of Guy's Forensic Medicine, 
devoted several pages to the consideration of the 
case, and the advancement of a theory based upon 

The rules of good taste will not permit a particu- 
lar allusion to the charitable deeds of the subject of 
this sketch; but the destitute and the afflicted ne- 
ver appealed to him in vain, and the oppressed were 
never turned away from his office because they 
were too poor to pay a defender. 

Should his father, who is still living on a small 
competence in London, ever visit New York, and 
see the substantial harvest which, in spite of heavy 
losses, and perplexing difficulties, his son has ga- 
thered around him, by the practice of the law, the 
worthy gentleman would instanter order a nolle pro- 
sequi, to be entered in the case of Thomas Warner, 
charged with absenting himself from the bakery 
without leave. 

Mr. Warner is married, but has, we believe, no 



He is a native of Orange county, and the son of 
the late Hon. Josiah Ogden Hoffman, who was 
himself one of the most distinguished members of 
the New York bar, as early as the days of Alexan- 
der Hamilton, Aaron Burr, John Sloss Hobart, John 
Morin Scott, and contemporary with Elisha Wil- 
liams, John Wells, Thomas Addis Emmet, and 
others, whose names have spread so much lustre on 
the legal profession. Surely, " there were giants in 
those days." 

The elder Hoffman was recorder of the city of 
New York during the last war, and at the time of 
his death, was associate judge with Messrs. Jones 
and Oakley, on the bench of the supreme court of 
that city. He was a man eminently distinguished 
for his legal knowledge and acquirements, both as 
counsel and judge. 

During the war, Ogden Hoffman, then between 
fourteen and fifteen years of age, received a mid- 
shipman's warrant; and his first cruise was under 
the gallant Decatur, in the frigate President, when 
she was captured off Long Island, by a British 
squadron, after one of the most desperate defences 
on record. 

The United States frigate President, one of the 
finest vessels of her class in the navy, sailed from 
this port on the 14th of January, 1815, on a cruise 
In going over the bar she grounded, and thumped 
heavily for an hour and a half. At high water she 
was forced over, and although Decatur wished to 
put back and repair, the wind blew so strong from 
the west that he was compelled to go to sea. An 
unfortunate result, as the sequel proved. 

The same day he was chased by a squadron, con- 


sisting of the Majestic (razee), Endymion, Pomone, 
Tenedos, frigates; and Despatch, brig. The chase 
continued until the next day at three, when the 
Endymion, the headmost ship, commenced the en- 
gagement; but she was soon silenced, and would 
have been taken, but for the approach of her con- 
sorts — nor did she fire another gun during the ac- 
tion. The Pomene and Tenedos now came up and 
continued the engagement, which was spiritedly 
met by the President ; but their force was so over- 
whelming, that longer defence would have been 
butchery, and Decatur reluctantly struck his flag, 
after a chase of two days, and an engagement, off 
and on, of six hours, with four vessels, either of 
which would have been considered his equal. In 
this fight he had four lieutenants and twenty men 
killed, and fifty-five officers and men wounded, or 
nearly one-fifth of his crew. 

In this action, young Ogden Hoffman displayed 
great bravery, and was highly spoken of by his su- 
perior officers. 

On his return to the United States, peace hav- 
ing been declared, he resigned his midshipman's 
warrant, and commenced the study of the law. Af- 
ter being admitted to the bar, his talents and elo- 
quence soon brought him a fair practice, and he 
was for some time district-attorney of Orange coun- 

In the city of New York, his brilliant and melo- 
dious style of oratory soon placed him among the 
first pleaders at the criminal bar. He was appoint- 
ed, about the year 1828, district-attorney of New 
York, which situation he held for four years, but 
was not reappointed, in consequence of a change in 
his politics. 

In 18-37, he was nominated by the whigs, for 
congress, and was elected for two consecutive ses- 
sions, by large majorities, and in both instances was 
ahead of the rest of his ticket — an honorable com- 


pliment from some of his political opponents. At 
the election of Gen. Harrison, he declined a nomi- 
nation, and was by that lamented man appointed 
United States attorney for the southern district of 
New York. 

Mr. Hoffman's eloquence is of a peculiarly fasci- 
nating nature. His voice is melody itself — soft, yet 
at the same time as clear and ringing in its tones as 
the loudest trumpet. He is always listened to with 
the deepest attention by a jury. In popular assem- 
blages, no man is more warmly and cordially greet- 
ed and applauded. He is of the medium height, 
and about forty-six years of age. 


The grass is now growing over the mortal remains 
of this celebrated merchant; but his unblemished 
reputation, for honesty of purpose and integrity of 
principles, will long survive. It is said that his 
singular name was given to him by some sailors, 
who found him, a mere infant, floating on a raft at 
sea. At an early age he was apprenticed to a black- 
smith ; but, while blowing the fire, or working at 
the anvil, his thoughts were far away, to the deep 
blue sea; and with the instinct of an "ocean child," 
he longed to rock once more upon the "cradle of 
the deep." Hence, his next situation was that of a 
seaman, on board of a whaling ship. Here he soon 
rose to the station of mate, and finally to that of 
commander. In this hazardous pursuit he remain- 
ed until he had amassed the foundation of his for- 
tune. He subsequently became an extensive ship- 
ping merchant, in the city of New York. 



Perhaps there are few individuals in the city of 
New-^York more generally and favorably known 
than Alderman Purdy. He is from the stock of the 
"Westchester Purdys, one of the oldest families in 
our state, and one that has ever held a prominent 
position in that county, as is evidenced by the fact 
that there is seldom an election takes place, that 
one of the name is not elevated to some office by 
the suffrage of his fellow citizens. Alderman Pur- 
dy was born, it is said, at White Plains, Westches- 
ter county, and is now about forty- eight years of 
age, in the full vigor of manhood and intellect. Af- 
ter receiving a respectable English education, he 
was apprenticed to a carpenter, which profession he 
followed after he attained his majority, and by his 
industry and attention to business, accumulated 
sufficient capital to open a country store. He was 
doing a good business, when his prospects were sud- 
denly clouded, and the fruits of years of toil de- 
stroyed by the devouring flames. 

This catastrophe only stimulated Mr. Purdy to 
renewed exertions, and he resolved to try his for- 
tunes in New York. He removed to that city, with 
his family, we believe, in 1821. Here he resumed 
his trade for a while, and then turned carman, and 
drove a horse and cart for a number of years. 

Alderman Purdy took up his residence in the 
tenth ward, and was soon recognized as an able 
and efficient politician, by the democratic party of 
that ward. 

In 1831, he received an appointment in the cus- 
tom house, and during his continuance in that situ- 
ation, obtained a high reputation with the mercan- 


tile community, for his correct business transactions 
and habits. In the early part of 1836, Mr. Purdy, 
who has always been a great stickler for the doc- 
trine of rotation in office, resigned his situation in 
the custom house, and retired to private life. 

In the spring of 1840, he was elected president 
of the board of aldermen, which honorable station 
he occupied until the accession of the whig party 
to power, when he had leave to retire to his old 
seat. As a presiding officer, he was always strenu- 
ous in maintaining the dignity of the chair: and 
although he was not altogether aufait in matters of 
parliamentary usage, and the rules laid down in 
Jefferson's Manual, yet we believe he gave univer- 
sal satisfaction, by the manner in which he presid- 
ed over their deliberations, to both parties in the 

In the winter of 1 840, Alderman Purdy, by vir- 
tue of his office as president of the common coun- 
cil, in consequence of the severe indisposition of 
Mayor Varian, was called upon to officiate as may- 
or; and for some months he performed the duties 
of that arduous and responsible situation, in addi- 
tion to his other multifarious duties, to the entire 
satisfaction of the public and the common coun- 



And when the orb of day has crown'd 

With gold the western sky, 
Before his dwelling he is found, 

With cheerful faces by — 
With little laughing duplicates, 

Caresses will not spoil ; 
Oh, joy at every side awaits 

The tiller of the soil! 

Benjamin Stanton was born on the 15th of Octo- 
ber, 1794, in what is now the town of Westerlo, 
county of Albany. His parents were English. His 
father was a baptist clergyman of extraordinary ta- 
lents, and conceded by his compeers to have been 
an ornament to his profession. Benjamin was his 
fourth son, and having received such an education 
as our common schools could then afford, was 
brought up as a practical farmer. In 1814, he mar- 
ried an amiable and interesting wife, and in six 
days thereafter was called to the defence of his 
country. Such was his soldier-like appearance and 
patriotic ardor, that although the junior of every of- 
ficer of the company, he was voluntarily tendered a 
commission, which he accepted, and honored by 
the most unflinching devotion to military discipline. 
After serving the term for which he was called into 
service, he returned to the • enjoyments of the do- 
mestic circle. 

In 1816, he purchased and located himself on a 
farm at Durham, Greene county, New York; but 
he followed not in the course of that class of farm- 
ers whose whole action, both mental and physical, 
is confined to the drudgery of manual labor. By 
him, science and philosophy were put into requisi- 
tion, which, when added to his zeal for the promo- 
tion of every philanthropic object, made him a high- 


ly useful member of community. How truly has 
it been said, that the situation of the independent 
farmer stands among the first for honesty and vir- 
tue. It is the one to which statesmen and warriors 
have retired, to find in the contemplation of the 
works of nature, that serenity which more conspi- 
cuous situations could not impart. It is an agreea- 
ble life, and dependent upon no one's favor, except 
His, who has said, that "while the world endureth, 
seed time and harvest, summer and winter, shall 
not cease." 

In 1835, Mr. Stanton sold his estate in Greene 
county ; and in a tour of observation, through seven 
of the south-western states, became afflicted with 
the prevailing disease of that section, and narrowly 
escaped with his life. In 1 836, he purchased a 
farm at Westerlo, adjoining the parental homestead, 
where he still resides, surrounded by a small, but 
happy family, and in the honest and faithful dis- 
charge of his duty as a practical and scientific 
farmer, which affords ample scope for the exercise 
of his benevolent disposition. 

In 1843, he was elected president of the Westerlo 
Temperance society, the principles of which glori- 
ous cause, he has for more than twenty years, both 
by precept and example, advocated with all his zeal 
and energy. 

In 1846, he was elected a delegate to the conven- 
tion for revising the constitution of the state. That 
he was not a speaking member of that body, is true; 
but it by no means follows that loquacity and in- 
dustry always go together. It is sufficient to say, 
that while there, he acquitted himself to the satis- 
faction of his constituents; and now that he has 
retired to private life, we find him still ever ready 
to point out and lead in the path of virtue. 




The subject of this sketch, now with her hus- 
band, Doctor Judson, in a remote part of the globe, 
assisting him in the glorious field of missionary la- 
bor, is by no means a stranger to the public. Her 
numerous contributions to the press, under the as- 
sumed name of Fanny Forrester, have been read 
with delight by many an eye, now moistened with 
tears at her absence. Previous to her departure, 
she was a highly esteemed member of the Bleecker 
street baptist church, at Utica. 

" Born and reared in humble life, she aspired to 
intellectual acquisitions which could be reached on- 
ly by the most devoted personal exertions, and 
these she used with distinguished success. Of 
these exertions we have learned incidents which 
may at some time be communicated, alike honora- 
ble to herself personally, and encouraging to others 
whom Divine providence may have placed in simi- 
lar circumstances. Possessing rare qualities as a 
writer, and being a consistent follower of Christ, 
she made her first attempts in works of a religious 
character. Of these, some were published in Utica, 
others in New York, and not less than four have 
been published, at different times, by the American 
Baptist Publication society, in Philadelphia. These 
works, however, were published without her name, 
and the world knew not that Emily Chubbuck 
wrote them. Of ready apprehension, and cheerful 
spirits, she notices every thing pertaining to her 
scenes, whether real or imaginary, at a glance, and 
goes dashing, bounding along, wherever she lists, 
always making salient the points of chief interest, 
and bearing her readers with her, and holding them, 
as if by a spell. Possessing such qualities, it is not 



strange that her magazine articles very soon attract- 
ed attention, and created a demand for new contri- 
butions, which could be met only by intense devo- 
tion to this department of intellectual labor. In ad- 
dition to this, her pieces were written under a ne- 
cessity, which needs but to be named to secure for 
her, instantly, a favorable consideration. An aged 
father and mother, descending the vale of life, in 
circumstances of dependence, have required a pro- 
fitable use of her gifted pen." 

The following account of her marriage appeared 
in the Utica Observer: 

It is a solemn and impressive sight, when two 
step out from the circle of friends, and, before God 
and men, promise to live for each other; but it is 
infinitely more so, when the two, in wedding each 
other, bind themselves to the cause of God. Such 
a scene, pure and holy as were the hearts plighted 
to each other, was witnessed in the neat cottage 
where dwell the parents of Fanny Forrester. The 
night was beautiful, and the very heavens seemed 
to smile approvingly upon the dedication, for such, 
indeed, it was, on the part of one. In the little 
parlor were collected a group, each face expressive 
of the solemn object which had called him' there. 
The silence was broken by the entrance of the ve- 
nerable and venerated Dr. Kendrick. Then came 
the modern apostle to the Gentile nations of Asia, 
bearing upon his arm a bright star from the galaxy 
of female genius. In the train were the friends of 
the bride. A moment's pause, while all were 
standing, and then commenced the holy ceremony. 
The groom, with erect figure and unsprinkled locks, 
betokened the vigor of manhood, while his beam- 
ing countenance portrayed the deep emotions of 
his heart. The bride, adorned in simple white, 
raised her dark eyes to the man of God, while the 
response of her warm heart, speaking in her eager 
gaze, was the finest illustration of her well chosen 


motto : ' Henceforth I pledge myself to holier pur- 
poses.' The sister and cousin, on either side, in the 
same simple garb, while upon their right stood two 
figures in the decline of life, whose emotions were 
plainly told in the silent tear that fell unchecked, 
and the calm resignation written upon their brows. 
The all-sustaining grace of God was in their hearts, 
and they could bear even this for him. Never 
before was I so impressed with the presence of 
our blessed Savior at a wedding. There was no 
evident affliction to call forth the melting sympa- 
thies of our natures, but with wonder and admira- 
tion did we behold in this sundering act a proof that 
there was a tender link between their hearts and 
the throne of God, which will never be severed. 
India's tropic clime cannot impair it, and when 
life's toils are over, it will sweetly draw them to the 
rest that remaineth." 

How different is the destiny of Emily Chubb uck 
from that of Aurore Dupin, who, also under an as- 
sumed name, that of George Sand, wrote for the 
bread of herself and family. But, says Mary How- 
itt, to understand the works of George Sand, and 
to fully appreciate the deep lessons which they 
teach, it is necessary that the reader should know 
something of her history. 

The married name of George Sand, is Madame 
Dudevant — her maiden name is Aurore Dupin. 
Royal blood flows in her veins; for her grandfather, 
by the mother's side, was the celebrated Marechai 
Saxe, the son of Augustus II., of Poland. Her fa- 
ther, M. Dupin, was a soldier, one of the aides-de- 
camp of Marshal Murat, and died on the field of 
battle, leaving his child, Aurore, an orphan, at an 
early age. She inherited a considerable fortune, 
and being left under the care of her grandmother, 
who exercised a little restraint over her, she began 
early to develope that independence of character, 
and decided intellectual bias, which were destined 


to exercise so important an influence over her fu- 
ture history. She was brought up in a fine old coun- 
try house, in the province of Berri, the wild and 
beautiful scenery of which she afterwards depicted 
with such marvellous effect, in her numerous 

At the age of seventeen, Aurore Dupin was, by 
her friends, provided with a husband, and handed 
over to a M. Dudevant, with whom a manage de con- 
venance, as it is commonly called in France, was 
concluded. These manages de convenance are the 
custom among the higher classes throughout France 
— half their marriages being mere business transac- 
tions between families. They proceed upon the 
supposition that woman is simply an article of bar- 
ter; and while the fortune and estate of the con- 
tracting parties are carefully enough estimated, 
such things as heart and soul have little or no con 
sideration in the matter. The young woman i 
handed over to the husband selected for her, with 
her goods and chattels, of which she is regarded as 
but a part — she expecting protection, and he requir- 
ing absolute obedience. Aurore Dupin was young 
and beautiful — M. Dudevant was old and ill-favor- 
ed. During some part of his life he had been a 
soldier, and, like most old soldiers, he enforced 
stern discipline in his household. Servants, dogs, 
and horses, trembled at the sound of his voice. He 
.was dull and prosy, emotionless, but impatient of 
contradiction, fond of money and personal comfort, 
ignorant, and without sympathy for his kind, and 
though just, according to the letter of the law, he 
was arbitrary and tyrannic as a despot. 

To such a man, was thus united for life, by an 
arrangement in which she had no part, a young be- 
ing, warm, affectionate, high-spirited, and full of 
sympathy; endowed with a great heart and soul, 
and with the very highest capacities for happiness. 
There could be no sympathy or love between such 


natures — and there was none. The living body, 
bound side by side to a corpse, could scarcely pre- 
sent a more revolting picture. The soul of the wo- 
man must have been weighed down by a perpetual 
load of misery. Where the wife sought affection, 
she found indifference; where she craved sympa- 
thy, she met with contempt. She could be neither 
soal-mate nor help-mate to such a man. 

Eight years did this pair live together, during 
which time Madame Dudevant became the mother 
of two lovely children, Solange and Maurice, the 
society of whom formed her chief solace in her mi- 
sery. She sought occupation also in the relief of 
the poor of her neighborhood, by whom she was 
regarded as a general benefactress. She supplied 
those who needed them, with food, clothing, and 
medicines. But this could not relieve the tortures 
of her own heart; and the crisis of her fate had 
now arrived. There are limits beyond which na- 
ture refuses to be violated. In individuals, as in 
nations, there is always a point of rebellion and re- 
volt. At the very same time that the people of Pa- 
ris were rising in rebellion against the despotism of 
their rulers, did this long-suffering woman, in like 
manner, after long stragglings, rise up against the 
despotism of her husband. She revolted, and quit- 
ted her married home, in the year 1830, leaving 
every thing behind but her children, whom M. Du- 
devant would not allow her to take with her, unless 
on condition of surrendering to him her whole for- 
tune, some 500,000 francs. To preserve her inde- 
pendence, and her children, she gave up this money 
to him. She went straight to Paris, there to com- 
mence writing for her own and her children's bread, 
under the assumed name of George Sand. 

We do not say that her early works are fit for in- 
discriminate reading by youth. To understand 
them, one must have endured sharp and bitter ex- 
perience of the world. To sympathize with them 


thoroughly, one must have suffered in the tender- 
est part of our nature — in the affections. There is, 
in her early works, a piteous and prolonged wail of 
agony — a breathed anguish of the tortured heart — 
a desperate struggling of a wronged and outraged 
nature — a succession of pictures of social misery 
and torment, which we look upon as a kind of men- 
tal aliment not to be placed before the young and 
pure in heart, who have never known such sorrows 
as the writer herself has endured. But when we 
recognize in these writings, as the thinking and ob- 
servant -mind cannot fail to do, the indignant pro- 
test of a noble woman against a false and vicious 
system — a woman who has suffered, in her own 
person, the worst of what she depicts — is it not 
right, we ask, that such things should be known, 
were it only as a first step towards a remedy, and 
as a means of awakening society from the in- 
difference with which it has heretofore been accus- 
tomed to regard such monstrous wrong and in- 
justice ? 

It is a gross mistake to confound George Sand 
with the depraved writers of the Balzac, Janin and 
Sue school — for she never makes vice beautiful — 
never rewards crime — never strews roses over cor- 
ruption — virtue is by her always surrounded with 
the glory of art, and the blessedness of well-doing 
is represented as the highest aim and reward of life. 



It has been truly said of this distinguished man, 
that his life has flowed on, like an even and unruf- 
fled stream, gathering its great depth of volume 
from a thousand springs, unseen to the public eye; 
and though scarcely perhaps noticed by the strang- 
er, whose admiration is rather attracted by the more 
picturesque wildness of the mountain torrent, yet 
diffusing a daily beneficent utility to the dwellers 
upon its tranquil borders, and an object of a far 
higher admiration to the more judicious eye, that 
can better appreciate true excellence. Having risen 
from a humble beginning, by the great but zealous 
exercise of those qualities, which, similarly applied, 
can never fail to command a similar success — in- 
dustry, self-cultivation, integrity and purity of life — 
his career presents one of those pictures best illus- 
trative of the spirit of our institutions, and best cal- 
culated for a useful example, and encouragement to 

Mr. Butler was born at Kinderhook, December 
14, 1795. His father, Medad Butler, was born in 
Branford, Connecticut. The grandfather of the lat- 
ter, Jonathan Butler, was one of the two brothers, 
Irish adventurers, who came to Connecticut about 
1710. He married a descendant of the original pu- 
ritan settlers of that colony. His son, Ezekiel, mar- 
ried Mabel Jones, a lineal descendant of Col. John 
Jones, and Catharine, a sister of Oliver Cromwell. 
Catharine was a second wife, and Mabel, the an- 
cestress, of the subject of our sketch, was descended 
from a son by the first wife. Catharine had no 
children. This Col. Jones was one of the renegade 
judges, and, after the restoration, suffered the pe- 
nalty for that act, " whose stern glory shall immor- 


talize the names of all who participated in it, by 
being beheaded for high treason. His father came 
to Connecticut, and many of his descendants are 
to be found in different parts of the United States. 

From the earliest age, Benjamin was always fond 
of books, reading all he could find, with great avi- 
dity. Among them were the works of Benjamin 
Franklin, to which book, more than to any other, 
he ascribes the formation of his character. He 
commenced learning Latin at the age of seven, and 
continued at school until his fifteenth year. 

In 1811, Mr. Van Buren took him into his office, 
as a law student, at Hudson. 

In 1817, he was admitted to the bar, as an attor- 
ney of the supreme court, and solicitor in chancery. 
Mr. Van Buren, then attorney-general of the state, 
shortly afterwards admitted him into partnership in 
his professional business at Albany. 

In Nov., 1824, he was appointed, together with 
two other distinguished lawyers, to the arduous 
charge of a revision and codification of all the sta- 
tutes of the state of New York. He was, however, 
connected with this revision for a much longer 
term than his associates, being one of the first ap- 
pointed commissioners, and continuing in the work 
to its termination. 

In 1829, Mr. Butler was appointed a regent of the 
university, but he resigned in 1*32. In November, 
1833, at the earnest request of President Jackson, 
he accepted the office of attorney-general of the 
United States, although he had declined all previ- 
ous offers to induce him to go to Washington. He 
served one year during Mr. Van Buren'sterm, when 
he resigned. 

In addition to his professional labors, he has al- 
ways been an advocate of the great cause of moral 
and religious philanthropy. He has been an ardu- 
ous friend of the temperance cause; and ever since 
1817, he has been a member of the Presbyterian 



church. His wife, whom he married in 1818, is a 
sister of the gallant Lieut. Allen, of the navy, who 
was killed in a boat attack of a piratical schooner, 
in 1832. 

Although at much inconvenience to himself, Mr. 
Butler was never known to refuse to lend his aid 
towards the advancement of any good object. He 
very recently delivered an interesting lecture in Al- 
bany, before the Young Men's Association of that 
city, in which he impressed upon the minds of his 
hearers, the priceless value of integrity and perse- 


Affords another instance of what may be accom- 
plished without money, without family connexions 
or friends. Mr. Allen commenced life, it is said, as 
a poor sailor boy. He was afterwards a sail maker, 
and finally kept one of the largest establishments 
of that kind. By his punctuality and integrity, he 
amassed a large fortune. When the tempest raged 
in its fury, and he almost sunk under the hardships 
of his situation, how the heart of that poor sailor 
boy would have bounded for joy, could he have fore- 
seen that he would at a future period, become mayor 
the city of New York, for three successive years, 
and afterwards fill other high offices of honor and 
trust ! 




The career of few men, says the Democratic Re- 
view, affords a better illustration of the fostering 
tendency of republican institutions, than is to be 
drawn from that of the present commissioner of 

The family of this gentleman is of Irish origin. 
They originally resided in the town of Westminster, 
Vermont, situated in the beautiful valley of the 
Connecticut, where his father cultivated a farm, 
and where the subject of this sketch was born, on 
the 23d of January, 1809. The circumstances of 
the parent, like those of most middling farmers of 
New England, were such as to compel him to keep 
the son at agricultural toil, until sixteen years of 
age, with the exception of the time prior to his fif- 
teenth year, devoted to the exercises of the ordinary 
country free school of those days. Fortunately, the 
talents of the parent were of no common order, and 
he strictly fulfilled the duty of training the mind of 
his son, which at sixteen, was sufficiently developed 
and well informed, for commencing the study of 
the law, in the office of the Hon. W. E. Bradley, (of 
Westminster, Vermont,) who has so long ranked as 
one of the most enlightened republicans and emi- 
nent jurists of New England. 

In the autumn of 1829, before the close of his 
twenty-first year, Mr. Burke, after passing the usual 
examination, was admitted to the bar. In the fol- 
lowing spring, he commenced the practice of this 
profession in the wild northern region of the state 
of New Hampshire, where, in three years, his ex- 
perience with men and things, not only taught him 
much of human nature, but matured his intellect. 

In 1833 Mr. Burke removed to Claremont, Sulli- 


van county, New Hampshire, and there established 
the New Hampshire Argus, which under his ma- 
nagement, immediately took rank as one of the first 
democratic papers in New England. The success 
of the Argus soon caused its removal to Newport, 
the shire town of the county, where it was united 
with the New Hampshire Spectator; and under the 
sole editorial direction of Mr. Burke, the joint estab- 
lishment took the name of the New Hampshire 
Argus and Spectator. Such was his success in this 
theatre, that, in 1^37, though personally a stranger 
to the present president of the United States, (then 
speaker of the house of representatives,) and Senator 
Grundy, he received overtures from these gentle- 
men, on behalf of the leading democratic politicians 
of Tennessee, to remove to Nashville, and assume 
the editorial charge of the Nashville Union. Mr. 
Burke, on reflection, having determined to accept 
this invitation, published his valedictory, which 
immediately brought forth so strong a remonstrance 
from his political friends at home, that he gave up 
the intention of removing to Tennessee. 

At the next congressional canvass, he was nomi- 
nated, and triumphantly elected to the house of 
representatives of the United States; and took his 
seat on the 2d of December, 1839, at the opening 
of the 26th congress. 

He soon obtained rank in this new field, as a man 
of a high order of intellect, extensive acquirements, 
untiring industry, and uncompromising political 
integrity. The famous debate of 1840, on the sub- 
treasury bill, may be said to have first made the 
democratic party, out of New England, acquainted 
with the intellectual powers of Edmund Burke, and 
to mark him as one of the rising men of the country. 

In 1842 he had occasion to approach the tariff 
question, in an argument supported, as usual, with 
results of his statistical researches, in connection 
with the science of political economy. This effort, 


which won him great credit with his political friends 
in the house, was extensively republished in demo- 
cratic journals. During the discussion of the Rhode 
Island difficulty, after close investigation into the 
questions at issue, Mr. Burke became a zealous ad- 
vocate of the party attached to Thomas W. Dorr. 

The six years of his congressional life were de- 
voted to intense labor, which has left in the public 
archives, honorable and abundant evidence of his 
iudefatigable industry and expanded intellect. 

* Upon the advent of the present administration, 
without personal solicitation on his part, the presi- 
dent called Mr. Burke to the responsible position of 
commissioner of patents; which trust he now fills, 
with so much credit to himself, and satisfaction to the 
scientific and ingenious of the country, with whom 
his official duties bring him constantly into contact. 

Mr. Burke is the author of the well known series 
of essays on the protective system, published in the 
Union under the signature of " Bundelcund." 

A periodical of high standing, says of Mr. Burke, 
" He possesses one of the best informed minds in 
the country. In the midst of all his political labors 
and private business, which has never been neg- 
lected, he has found time to devote himself to the 
acquirement of much scientific and literary inform- 
ation, and there are few, very few private libraries 
in New England, which will compare with his in 
size or in usefulness. His characteristics are energy 
of purpose, untiring industry, uncompromising hos- 
tility to everything aristocratic, or un-American ; 
devotion to his political principles, equal to that of 
a Mahometan to his prophet; attachment, which 
hardly knows a bound, to his friends; frankness, 
which never permits him to conceal his honest 
opinions on any subject. In his bearing and man- 
ners, he is urbane and gentlemanly to all who have 
occasion to come in contact with him in public or 
private life." 



Was born in the city of New York. His father, 
Robert Morris, soon afterwards removed to Claver- 
ack, Columbia county, near the city of Hudson, 
where the subject of this memoir received his edu- 
cation. Being strongly attached to the law, he 
studied with the Hon. J. D. Monell, and subsequent- 
ly with the Hon. J. N. Edwards. So close was his 
application to study, that he attained such profi- 
ciency as entitled him to the highest praise of the 
examiners of the law, and he was admitted to the 
bar before he had attained the age of twenty-one. 
He commenced the practice of his profession at 
Johnstown, Columbia county, where he was an 
early and ardent advocate of democratic principles. 
While a resident of Livingston, he received many 
proofs of great personal popularity. 

Early in his professional career he became distin- 
guished as an advocate. In 1829, having previously 
been admitted to the degree of counsellor at law, he 
returned to the place of his birth, the city of New 
York, and pursued the practice of his profession 
with extraordinary success — with his characteristic 
energy and popular manners he also engaged in 
politics. He was soon recognized as one of the 
leading members of his party, which sent him to 
the legislature in 1833, and he was re-elected in 
1834. At the latter session, during the celebrated 
struggle for a recharter of the United States Bank, 
he was chairman of the committee on banks, and 
as such, held the most important position in the 

In 1838 Mr. Morris was appointed recorder of the 
city of New York, which office he held for about 
three years. During the period he remained in 


office, he discharged his duties with great prompt- 
ness and general satisfaction. In 1840, (a period 
of great political excitement,) he, in conjunction 
with Mayor Varian, seized the celebrated Glent- 
worth papers. For this he was removed by the 
governor and senate — the reason given for so doing, 
was, that he acted illegally. Whether the removal 
was right or wrong, others must decide. 

At the ensuing election for mayor, Mr. Morris 
was nominated by the party to which he belonged, 
and elected by a heavy majority. This was to him, 
undoubtedly, a great triumph, showing that, at any 
rate, he was sustained in his views by the people 
of his native city. 

At the next election for the same office, his ma- 
jority was still greater. He was also elected a 
third time, on which occasion he stated his deter- 
mination not again to be a candidate. 

In May, Mr. Morris was appointed postmaster of 
the city of New York by President Polk, and not- 
withstanding he held this honorable and important 
office, the citizens of the city of New York, in the 
spring of 1846, elected him one of the delegates to 
amend the constitution of the state. 

It has been truly observed that Mr. Morris's great 
personal popularity is much owing to his pleasing 
address. His manner is the same when associating 
with the elevated, as with the most humble ; and 
towards both, he acts with that courtesy that ac- 
companies a just appreciation of the feelings and 
rights of others, with a proper sense of what is due 
to himself. 



The ancestors of Senator Johnson, on his father's 
side, were of Irish extraction; and his mother's, of 
English descent. His paternal grandfather had the 
reputation of being one of the most athletic men 
in the town where he resided, having no superior 
in the county. Solomon Johnson, one of his sons, 
was likewise a man of extraordinary powerful 
frame. For several previous generations, the male 
members of the family were also distinguished foi 
height, and great bodily strength. But although in 
those early and troublous times in the Emerald isle, 

The green of her valleys was crimsoned with blood, 

and when might was too frequently mistaken for 
right, personal prowess was a valuable gift, the 
senator is fully aware that in the battle of life, in 
these days, when intellects clash, instead of steel, 
something more is necessary than muscle, bone and 
sinew. He is one of those who fully subscribe to 
the sentiment of the poet. 

Were I so tall to reach the pole, 

Or grasp the ocean with a span, 
I must be measured by my soul, 

The mind 's the measure of the man. 

The above named Solomon enlisted as a private 
soldier, in the Avar of the revolution ; and, after 
exerting himself usefully for some years in the cause 
of his adopted country, he died in the service. His 
brother, Jotham Johnson, the father of the senator, 
was too young- to enter the armv until near the 
close of the war; and, from the need in which the 
family stood of his labor, although his heart was in 


the battle field, he could not take any part in the 
glorious struggle for independence. He married, 
and became a farmer, which business he has al- 
ways followed unremittingly, and pretty successful- 
ly. He is still living, and has the reputation of be- 
ing one of the most industrious men in the county 
where he resides. He is now in his eightieth year, 
and his health remains good. He is, too, one of 
those fortunate men who have never known a sick 

A hardy, sunburnt man is he, 

A hardy, sunburnt man ; 
No sturdier man you '11 ever see, 

Though all the world you scan. 
In summer's heat, in winter's cold, 

You '11 find him at his toil — 
Oh, far above the knight of old, 

Is the tiller of the soil. 

The maternal grandfather of the senator was Ste- 
phen Crosby, a captain in the revolutionary war, 
and who died at the evacuation of New York by 
the British. He left a widow and a large family of 
children. The sons reside in Connecticut, and 
have, it is said, always been democrats, while it is 
presumed the daughters are all whigs. Hannah 
Crosby, the mother of our subject, was a woman 
of refined taste, elevated morals, and great strength 
of character. Few women ever possessed finer mo- 
ral perceptions. She had a family of nine children, 
who all lived to be men and women; and it has 
been said that if any of them possessed talent above 
mediocrity, it must have been derived from her. 
She died about five years ago, in the seventy-fifth 
year of her age. How truly has it been said, that 
the influence of a mother touches all the deep well- 
springs of action, that are felt alike in the smallest 
circle and in the largest empire. And hence, that 
appropriate adage: "They who rock the cradle, 
rule the world." The traces of a mother's influ- 


ence upon the young- mind, the thoughts that she 
causes to glow and burn in that young soul, shall, 
one day, light up a world of emotion and energy in 
the bosom of others; and those in their turn, shall 
rouse, and stimulate, and strengthen others to acts 
of noble daring, until her single influence, like the 
power that moves the first wave, and this, in its 
turn, a second, and third, and the last, shall reach to 
the utmost boundary of time. 

Stephen C. Johnson, the subject of this sketch, 
was born in the town of Thompson, Windham 
county, Ct. At a very early age he was fond of 
reading- and meditation, and from infancy his heart 
had worshipped the beautiful, wheresoever found. 
Like others of a similar turn, he would hang enrap- 
tured " over tiny caves, lined with green and gold- 
en moss, and spend hours of exquisite felicity in 
sailing his little fleet, of tulip leaves, upon a clear, 
pebbly brook, and would peer into the colored cups 
and bells of the flowers, in a perfect ecstacy of de- 

As he grew older, he was one of those who would 
steal out, on a stormy night, to watch the wild 
rocking of the pines against the lowering sky; his 
heart swelling to the grand and sublime ; or who 
walk in the calm summer's evening, alone and un- 
disturbed, while the pale star of evening shines in 
tears, his eye piercing into the blue depths of the 
awful heavens, endeavoring to follow the dread idea 
of the Almighty to his throne. 

Before the age of twelve he had read a great 
number of miscellaneous works, embracing a regu- 
lar course of history, and the most vivid impressions 
were made at that period. In the common school, 
where he remained until the age of sixteen, it is 
said he had no superior, and but one equal, whose 
name was Aaron N. Skinner, now a resident of New 
Haven, Connecticut. These two stoutly contested 
for the head of the class. 


On the 6th of January, 1831, Mr. Johnson was 
married to Miss Mary Ann Swift, daughter of Sam'l 
Swift, Esq. He came to Delhi, Delaware county, 
New York, in November, 182(5, poor, and having no 
friends, except a brother, Noadiah Johnson, who 
died while a member of the New York senate, in 
the spring of 1839. With him Stephen commenced 
the study of law, and finished with Mr. Amasa J. 

In the July term of 1830, he was admitted to the 
New York supreme court; and the poor, friendless 
young man, who twenty years ago came into that 
county, having no dependence but his industrious 
habits and determined perseverance, is now a sena- 
tor from the third senate district. 


Senator Gridley is the second son of Elisha Grid 
ley, and a native of the old, rich town of Farming- 
ton, Hartford county, Connecticut. He is a de- 
scendant of an English gentleman, who emigrated 
to this country during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, 
and who, several years previous to his migration, 
held the appointment of brigadier-general. He 
was a man of wealth, and one of an association of 
eighty-four, who purchased the above town, then 
twelve by eighteen miles, at the time of the first 
settlement of what was then termed the Hartford 
colony. Most of the said association first settled at 
Plymouth and Boston, about the middle of the se- 
venteenth century. 

Abraham, the senator, is of the sixth generation. 
He was born upon a remnant of the old family do- 
main, on the third of September, 1793. His fa- 


ther's motner was first cousin to the elder John 
Adams. The maiden name of Abraham's mother 
was Hopkins. She was also a descendant of the pil- 
grims. His father served as a volunteer in the re- 
volutionary Avar, and was engaged in several bat- 
tles. After the termination of hostilities, he spent 
several years in teaching and traveling. He mar- 
ried at the age of thirty-one ; and, in 1799, removed 
to the town of Paris, Oneida county, New York, 
where he resolved to spend the remainder of his 
days, as a practical farmer. Six years afterward, 
however, he again removed, to the town of Vernon, 
a short distance east of the Oneida castle, on the 
great western turnpike. That portion of the coun- 
try was then comparatively new, and but sparsely 
settled by the whites, more than nine-tenths of 
whom lived in log cabins. The then wild and un- 
civilized Oneidas and Onondagas, and the half-ci- 
vilized Stockbridge tribes, far outnumbered the 
white population in the vicinity; and when the In- 
dians indulged, as they constantly did, in their do- 
mestic revels, they were a terror to the settlers on 
every side. 

Abraham, being then a lad of about eleven years 
of age, by mixing with the different tribes, soon ac- 
quired a correct knowledge of their language, which 
gained him the good will of many of the red men. 
About this time he entered a store, as clerk, where 
he remained for two years. While there, he be- 
came an especial favorite of the Oneidas, even of 
the chief, and the head men of the tribe. They 
gave the young pale face credit for speaking their 
language, better than most whites who had endea- 
vored to learn it. Like other youths, however, he 
was often engaged in playing tricks upon his red 
friends, when they were drunk; and on several of 
these occasions he was indebted to his speed, or to 
concealment, to avoid the drawn knife. In such 
cases, when his life was threatened in cold blood, 


he found it necessary, after the first gust of passion 
had subsided, to make peace, and to bury the 
hatchet, on the best terms he could. This he ge- 
nerally accomplished by means of a small present, 
and an earnest expression of sorrow. 

In the spring of 1811, he procured a situation as 
clerk, in the lovely and rural village of Auburn, 
then containing between two and three hundred 
inhabitants, and where he has ever since resided. 

On the 6th of September, 1815, he married Miss 
Sarah Edwards, a daughter of Capt. Isaac Good- 
rich, then late of Glastonbury, Connecticut. Her 
mother was one of the celebrated Edwards family, 
of Connecticut. 

In September, 1814, he had commenced business 
as a merchant, on his own account; but the great 
commercial revulsion which shortly followed the 
unexampled profits with which the first importa- 
tions were attended, and by which hundreds of opu- 
lent merchants were ruined, included Mr. Gridley 
in the general wreck. When this sudden change 
in the price of foreign fabrics took place, he had a 
large stock of war goods on hand. Bankruptcy 
was, therefore, inevitable, and not being able to ef- 
fect a compromise with all his creditors, he remain- 
ed insolvent until 1828, when, from the avails of 
his office, as Cayuga county clerk, he satisfied the 
last demand ; and thus, without availing himself of 
any legal protection, which he had firmly resolved 
never to do, he received from his creditors a full 
discharge of their claims. Would that thousands 
of others, who have recovered from their misfor- 
tunes, and who are now rolling in wealth, would 
follow his example ! Are there no professors of re- 
ligion, who suffer themselves to be deluded by the 
idea, that a legal absolution from a debt is also a 
moral one, and that a bankrupt's certificate is a 
good set-off to the passage which glows upon the 
page of holy writ: " Owe no man any thing." 


Having previously progressed through most of the 
grades of military rank, to that of general of the 
seventh brigade of New York infantry, this latter 
office, in April, 1829, he resigned. 

In 1840, Gov. Seward conferred upon him the of- 
fice of clerk in the Auburn prison, which he retain- 
ed until July, 1844. He T is now a senator from the 
seventh senatorial district, to which honorable sta- 
tion he was nominated without any knowledge or 
solicitation on his part, either directly or indirectly. 

In 1820, Mr. G-ridley became a member of St. 
Peter's church, in Auburn, and he has almost ever 
since been one of the vestry. He has had, also, 
many other offices of honor and trust, and, to a most 
gratifying extent, he enjoys the confidence and es- 
teem of his neighbors. But that one blessing, if it 
can be so called, and which is generally deemed 
paramount to all others, wealth, he has never enjoy- 
ed. Yet he has never suffered for any of the com- 
forts, or even luxuries of life, having enjoyed that 
state so desired by the prophet, "neither poverty 
nor riches." To him it has always been a great 
luxury to do all the good in his power, and, so far 
as his, means would permit, to relieve the real 
wants, and to alleviate the misery of those around 
him. And to this, perhaps, may be attributed the 
absence of that wealth which is by so many wor- 
shipped. But the time will come, when one good 
action shall be of more value than mountains of 
gold, and when all the diamonds in the world will 
be outweighed by a kind word. How enviable is 
the portion of such a man, compared with him who 
amasses riches at the expense of honor and fair 
dealing, and regardless of the tears of the orphan or 
the cries of the widow, heaps up dollars to canker 
in his soul, and wherewith to curse his offspring. 

Mr. Gridley has not been a careless observer of 
the dealings of Providence with such men, and 
having, during his whole life, enjoyed uninterrupted 


health, that greatest of all earthly blessings, next to 
a quiet conscience, he has abundant reason to be 

He is not one of those who, regardless of the se- 
vere penalty of "pride, envy, gout, dyspepsia, and 
a thousand imaginary and artificial wants, aspire 
after elevated station, and the accumulation of 
riches, although at the expense of trampling under 
foot every social duty, every moral principle, and 
even at the risk of endangering life itself. When 
has ill-gotten gain descended to the third genera- 
tion? But to the just man, how cheering are the 
words of the psalmist : "I have, been young, and 
now am old ; yet have I not seen the righteous for- 
saken, nor his seed begging bread." 

Mr. Gridley's father, who, during the latter por- 
tion of his life, resided at Sennett, three miles from 
Auburn, died on the 30th of December, 1843, in 
the eighty -fourth year of his age; having through 
his long life, maintained an honorable independ- 
ence and an unblemished reputation. He was ne- 
ver engaged in a law suit, and lived in peace with 
all men. His aged widow still survives. She is 
now in her eighty-fourth year. 

The winds breathe low — the withering leaf 

Scarce whispers from the tree ; 
So gently flows the parting breath, 

When good men cease to be. 



The name of this distinguished teacher and 
authoress will cause many a fair cheek to glow, and 
many a heart to throb at the recollection of school- 
days, as 

In their green, glowing beauty 

They move before our gaze, 
Those gentle, pleasant memories 

Of bygone, happy days. 

O ! what a thing it is to be young. How easy the 
load of life sits upon one; how insignificant are its 
cares to its enjoyments; "every moment has its 
flitting dream ; every hour its teeming pleasure, if 
we choose to seek it ; every flower, be it bitter or 
sweet, be it inodorous or be it perfumed, has its 
nectary full of honeyed drops, ripe for the lip that 
will vouchsafe to press it." 

As appears from a brief notice of her some years 
ago, in the " Connecticut Poets," Mrs. Willard is the 
daughter of the late Samuel Hart, of Berlin, where 
she was born in February, 1787. Her father was 
descended, on the maternal side, from Thomas 
Hooker, the first minister of Hartford, who is re- 
garded as the founder of the state of Connecticut, 
he having led the colony across the wilderness from 
the vicinity of Boston. Her paternal ancestor was 
Stephen Hart, a deacon of Mr. Hooker's church, 
and his companion across the wilderness. 

The subject of our sketch has been long and fa- 
vorably known to the public, by her devotion to the 
cause of female education, and of the many im- 
provements which she has labored, not unsuccess- 
fully, to introduce in its various departments. The 
love of teaching appears to have been a ruling pas- 


sion of her mind, and was developed in her early 
years. After receiving the advantages of the com- 
mon schools, and enjoying for two winters, the in- 
struction of Doctor Miner, then an eminent teacher 
in the Berlin academy, she, at sixteen years of age, 
took the charge of a district school in her native 
town. The following year, she opened a select 
school, and in the summer of the next year, was 
placed at the head of the Berlin academy. During 
this period, being engaged at home throughout the 
summer and winter in the capacity of instructress, 
she managed in the spring and autumn, to attend 
one or other of the two boarding schools at Hartford. 

During the spring of 1807, Miss Hart received 
invitations to take charge of academies in three 
different states, and accepted that from Westfleld, 
Massachusetts. She remained there but a few 
weeks, when upon a second and more pressing in- 
vitation she went to Middlebury in Vermont. Here 
she assumed the charge of a female academy, which 
she retained for two years. The school was liber- 
ally patronized, and general satisfaction rewarded 
the efforts of its preceptress. In 1809 she resigned 
her academy, and was united in marriage with 
Doctor John Willard, then marshal of the district 
of Vermont, and for several years, a leader of the 
republican party of that state. 

In 1814 Mrs. Willard was induced to establish a 
boarding school at Middlebury, when she formed a 
determination to effect an important change in fe- 
male education, by the institution of a class of 
schools of a higher character than had been estab- 
lished in the country before. She applied herself 
assiduously to increase her own personal abilities 
as a teacher, by the diligent study of branches with 
which she had before been unacquainted. She in- 
troduced new studies into her school, and invented 
new methods of teaching. She also prepared " An 


Address to the Public, " in which she proposed " A 
Plan for improving Female Education." 

Her school at Middlebury had obtained so much 
celebrity, that she had many boarding- scholars sent 
her from the first families in the state of New York, 
five of whom were from Waterford. One of the 
five was an adopted daughter of General P. Van 
Schoonhoven, the lovely and interesting Frances 
Davis, (since Mrs. Kirkland, and now no more). 
The general wished Mrs. Willard to remove her 
school to Waterford. Her husband, who it is said 
had been basely treated by his political friends, and 
who moreover warmly sympathized with the views 
of his lady in elevating the character and condition 
of women by education, was perfectly willing to 
abandon a state in whose foundation he had been 
one of the chief laborers, provided the way should 
be fairly opened. 

General Van Schoonhoven, on inspecting the 
"Plan," heartly approved it; and taking a copy, 
exhibited it to the leading men of Waterford, among 
whom was the Hon. John Cramer. At their re- 
commendation, a copy was sent to Governor De 
Witt Clinton. The latter immediately wrote to 
Mrs. Willard, expressing a most cordial desire that 
she would remove her institution to the state of 
New York. He also recommended the subject of 
her "Plan" in his message to the legislature. The 
result was, the passage of an act to incorporate the 
proposed institute at Waterford, and another to give 
to female academies a share of the literary fund, 
being it is believed, the first law ever passed by any 
legislature with the direct object of improving fe- 
male education. 

During the spring of 1819 Mrs. Willard accord- 
ingly removed to Waterford, and opened her school 
early in the ensuing summer. The higher mathe- 
matics were introduced, and the course of study 
was made sufficiently complete to qualify the pupils 


for any station in life. (The first young lady who 
was examined publicly in geometry, and perhaps 
the first instance in the country, was Miss Cramer, 
since Mrs. Curtis.) 

In the spring of 1821, difficulties attending the 
securing of a proper building for the school in Wa- 
terford, Mrs. Willard again determined upon a re- 
moval. The public spirited citizens of Troy offered 
liberal inducements; and in May, 1821, the Troy 
female seminary was opened under flattering au- 
spices, and abundant success crowned the inde- 
fatigable exertions of our authoress. Since that 
period, the institute has been well known to the 
public, and the name of Mrs. Willard, for more than 
a quarter of a century, has been identified with her 
favorite academy. In the autumn of 1830, having 
been left a widow four years, and being now in im- 
paired health, she left this country and sailed for 
France. She resided in Paris for several months, 
and from thence visited England and Scotland, 
returning in the following year. After her return 
she published a volume of her travels, the avails 
of which amounting to twelve hundred dollars, were 
devoted to the cause of female education in Greece. It 
may be proper to add, that she devoted the avails 
of one or two other publications to the same object. 

In 1838, Mrs. Willard resigned the charge of the 
Troy seminary, and returned to Hartford, where she 
prepared for publication her celebrated Manual of 
American History, for the use of schools. The me- 
rits of this work, her United States History, and 
Universal History, have been attested by their very 
general use in seminaries of education. 

Since 1843, she has completed the revision of hei 
historical works, revised her Ancient Geography, 
and, in compliance with invitations, has written 
numerous addresses, on different occasions, being 
mostly on educational subjects. Two of these were 
written by request of the Western Literary Institute 


and College of Teachers, and were read at annua* 
meetings of the society, at Cincinnati, one in 1841, 
and the other in 184-3. In 1845, by special invita- 
tion, she attended the convention of county and 
town superintendents, held at Syracuse. She was 
invited to take part in the public debate — declining 
that honor, the gentlemen of the convention, to the 
number of about sixty, called on her at her lodg- 
ings, where she read to them a prepared address. 
The principal topic of it was, " that woman, now 
sufficiently educated, should be employed, and fur- 
nished by the men, as committees, charged with 
the minute cares and supervision of the common 
schools;" reasoning from the premises, that to man 
it belongs to provide for the children, while upon 
woman it is incumbent to take the provision, and 
apply it economically and judiciously. These sen- 
timents were received with decided approbation. 

In the fall of the same year, 1845, Mrs. Willard 
made, with great satisfaction, an educational tour, 
through some of the southern counties of New 
York, having been specially invited to attend the 
institutions for the improvement of teachers of the 
common schools. At Monticello, Binghamton, 
Owego, Cairo, and Rome, she aided in instructing 
no less than five hundred teachers of these schools, 
and in many cases her partings with the young fe- 
male teachers were not without tears. 

The inhabitants of the places where she went, to 
instruct teachers, desiring to have a share in her 
visits, at their request she attended public meetings 
of both sexes, where she introduced resolutions, 
which were unanimously passed, in the several 
counties, and aided in the debates. The object 
was to forward her scheme, of giving to the best 
educated, and most able women of the country, the 
charge and supervision of the village schools, for 
little children, especially of those things appertain- 
ing to the conveniences of such schools. That the 


teachers of these schools should be mostly females, 
is now universally agreed ; but, argued she, while 
the young women can be the teachers, it needs the 
matrons, acting under the authority of the men, to 
aid in the supervision. 

In the ensuing winter of 1846, Mrs. Willard pre- 
pared for the press a work, which has given her 
more fame abroad, and perhaps at home, than any 
of her other writings. This work, which was pub- 
lished in the ensuing spring, both in New York and 
London, developed the result of a study which had 
intensely occupied her at times, for fourteen years. 
Its title is — A Treatise on the Motive Powers which 
produce the Circulation of the Blood. And its ob- 
ject is, nothing less than to introduce and to estab- 
lish the fact, that the principal motive power which 
produces circulation of the blood, is not, as has 
been heretofore supposed, the heart's action, that 
being only secondary, but that the principal motive 
power is respiration, operating by animal heat, and 
producing an effective force at the lungs. Of this 
work, the London Critic thus speaks: 

" We have here an instance of a woman under- 
taking to discuss a subject that has perplexed and 
baffled the ingenuity of the most distinguished ana- 
tomists and physiologists, who have considered it, 
from Hervey down to Paxton; and what is more 
remarkable, so acquitting herself as to show, that 
she apprehended, as well as the best of them, the 
difficulties which beset the inquiry, perceived as 
quickly as they did, the errors and incongruities of 
the theories of previous writers ; and lastly, herself 
propounded an hypothesis to account for the circu- 
lation of the blood, and the heart's action, eminent- 
ly entitled to the serious attention and examination 
of all who take an interest in physiological sci- 

During the spring and summer of 1846, Mrs. 
Willard made the tour of the southern and western 


states, visiting every one of them, except Texas. 
In every city, she met her former pupils, who gave 
her a filial welcome. She was received by the 
principals of schools, and those employed in educa- 
tion, as an "educationalist;" and, as such, invited 
to visit, and to address schools — where, in many 
instances, she received public testimonials of con- 

In addition to the compends of history which 
she has written, she has invented, for the purpose 
of teaching and impressing chronology on the mind 
by the eye, two charts, of an entirely original cha- 
racter — one called, The American Chronographic 
for American History, and the other, for universal 
history, called the Temple of Time. In the latter, 
the coarse of time, from the creation of the world, 
is thrown into perspective, and the parts of this vast 
subject wrought into unity, and the most distin- 
guished characters which have appeared in the 
world, are set down, each in his own time. This, 
in the chart, is better arranged, for the memory, 
than would be that of the place of a city, on a map 
of the world. 

Very recently, Mrs. Willard has published a 
pamphlet, in which she sets forth that certain griev- 
ous trespasses have been committed upon her lite- 
rary property. It proves that she is well able to 
verify the motto of the celebrated Scottish chief — 
" touch and I pierce." 

The poetical compositions of Mrs. "Willard are 
few, and are chiefly comprised in a small volume 
printed in 1S30. The following will serve as a spe- 
cimen. It was written while on board the packet 
Sully, on her return from Europe, in 1830; and, be- 
ing set to music by Count de Enoiseul, a fellow 
passenger, was sung as their evening hymn during 
the remainder of the vova^e. It was afterwards 
set to music by the celebrated English vocalist and 



composer, Knight, and sung in public, by him and 
others : 


Rock'd in the cradle of the deep, 
I lay me down in peace to sleep; 
Secure I rest upon the wave, 
For thou, Lord, hast power to save. 
I know thou would'st not slight my call, 
For thou dost mark the sparrow's fall-; 
And calm and peaceful is my sleep, 
Rock'd in the cradle of the deep. 

And such the trust that still were mine, 
Tho' stormy winds swept o'er the brine, 
And tho' the tempest's fiery breath 
Rous'd me from sleep, to wreck and death: 
In Ocean's cave, still safe with Thee, 
The germ of immortality ; 
And calm and peaceful is my sleep, 
Rock'd in the cradle of the deep. 


Late district-attorney for the county of New York, 
is a remarkable instance of what may be accom- 
plished by untiring perseverance. Poor in early 
life, he adopted the profession of the law, and has 
risen, to his great credit and honor, to his present 
high position in the estimation of his fellow citi- 

As a speaker, he is clear, close, pointed, and 
occasionally rather bitter. This, however, may be 
attributed to ill health, to which most lawyers, who, 
owing to the zealous prosecution of their profession, 
neglect proper bodily exercise, are subject. It is 
difficult for a man to exercise forbearance under 


the goadings of opposing counsel, when suffering 
from indigestion. In olden times, the lawyers were 
not wont to neglect the exercise of the body. For 
instance, it appears from Goodwin's Social History 
of Great Britain, that "dancing formed a part of 
their education. ■, tt served to give them exercise, 
and thus promoted mirth and cheerfulness, amid 
their monotonous studies." 

In the reign of James I., the barristers used to 
dance before the judges; and the judges used to 
dance at their antique masks and revels at their 
respective inns. 

Mr. Wynne, in his notes on Eunomus, mentions 
a recent case, in which the learned judges "tripped 
it merrily, on the light fantastic toe ;" the last revel, 
he says, which was held in any of the inns of 
court, was at the Inner Temple, 1722, in honor of 
Mr. Talbot, when he took leave of the house, of 
which he was a bencher, on having the great seal 
delivered to him. 

After dinner, the master of the revels, who went 
first, took the lord chancellor by the right hand, 
and he, with his left, took Mr. Justice Page, who, 
joined to the other judges, sergeants, and benchers 
present, danced round about the coal fire, in the 
middle of the hall, according to the old ceremony 
of those times— during which they were aided in 
the figure by Mr. Cook, the prothonotary, then up- 
wards of sixty years old. 



The ancestors of this successful baptist preacher, 
were descendants of the Howards of England, and 
were among the earliest settlers of the Plymouth 
colony. His grandfather, Benjamin Howard, in 
1760, removed from Massachusetts to Windham 
county, Vermont, where Calvin the father of Le- 
land was born. Calvin was the youngest of nine- 
teen children. He married Hannah Willman, who 
presented him with no less than twelve "pledges," 
all of whom in due time, became members of baptist 
churches. Calvin and his wife were the first bap- 
tists in that part of Vermont, and they had to go 
twenty-two miles to hear their pastor, the Rev. 
Aaron Leland, afterwards speaker of the Vermont 
legislature, and lieutenant governor of the state. 
After him their third son, the subject of this sketch, 
was named. He was born at Jamaica, Windham 
county, Vermont, on the 14th of October, 1794. 
The circumstances of his parents were not such as 
to exempt the family from the necessity of labor; 
but Leland, from the earliest period, manifested a 
decided repugnance to bodily exertion of any kind 
unless connected with amusement, much preferring 
to sit in some corner where he would sing by the 
hour. This disposition frequently brought him into 
trouble. On one occasion, when about ten years of 
age, he was taken by Calvin, an elder brother, to 
work in a garden at some distance from home. 
After assigning him his task for the day, Calvin 
would leave him, but generally on returning in the 
evening, he would find the hoeing and weeding 
neglected, and Leland lying on his back lustily 
singing all sorts of hymns in all imaginable metres. 
This derilection of duty, subjected him to sundry 


practical admonitions from the hands of his guardian 
brother, which however effected nothing more than 
causing Leland to sing in a different key. At this 
day, the brothers, between whom the warmest 
affection has ever subsisted, cannot revert to that 
incident without laughing until the tears roll down 
their cheeks. 

A few years afterwards, Leland accompanied Cal- 
vin upon a midnight excursion to shoot a bear, 
which was in the practice of depredating upon a 
corn field about that hour. They took with them 
an old revolutionary musket, heavily loaded with 
slugs. They stationed themselves near a large tree, 
and before it became quite dark had abundance of 
courage, and dar.ed Bruin to " come on and meet 
his fate." Towards midnight however, a distant 
sound was heard resembling the crackling of dried 
branches, whereon Leland crept close to Calvin, 
whilst the latter nervously seized the old musket 
and felt that the priming was good. Unconscious 
of the presence of two such heroes with their mu- 
nitions of war, the bear 

" True as the needle to the pole," 

was steadily advancing to the corn field. At this 
critical juncture, whether with a design of enticing 
the enemy into an ambuscade or not is immaterial, 
but Leland ran off " homeward bound," like light- 
ning, and Calvin, having a valid excuse in the de- 
sertion of his ally, discharged the gun in the air and 
also sought safety by flight. After that night, there 
is no record of another expedition being planned 
against the bear. 

As an illustration of the peculiar observances 
among the scholars in the academies of that day, it 
may be interesting to advert to an incident which 
occurred when the brothers, for a brief period, were 
sent to a school in their vicinity. On entering the 
play ground, they observed the other boys in deep 


consultation, occasionally casting earnest glances 
at the new comers. At length two boys about their 
own age, advanced, and each selecting his " man," 
commenced a personal attack. This being promptly 
returned, a cry of " enough," was heard from the 
spectators, whereon an explanation took place to 
the effect, that this was a kind of "by-law," adopted 
in order to test the mettle of new "recruits," and 
with a view of ranking them accordingly. A gene- 
ral introduction then took place, and Leland and 
Calvin became a part of the "regular army." 

So jovial and frolicsome was the disposition of 
Leland, and so grave that of his brother, that it was 
predicted the latter would certainly become a min- 
ister, while such a profession was never even dreamt 
of for the former. But Calvin became a physician, 
and Leland with all his glee became a "teacher in 
the church." At the age of eighteen, although ex- 
tremely illiterate as regards book learning, he com- 
menced preaching. His great natural talents soon 
attracted the attention of General Abner Forbes, of 
Windsor, who sent him to Boston and gave him a 
gratuitous education. 

Had every man thus expended a small portion 
of his superfluous wealth, how much talent might 
have been discovered for the church, for the state, 
and for the world, among those untutored multitudes 
of our race, who have floated unknown and un- 
noticed down the tide of time ? " How many gems 
made visible by their glittering, would have been 
collected ? How many mines of beauty and richness 
would have appeared? How many Demosthenes 
might have lightened and thundered? How many 
Homers soared and sung? How many Newtons 
roused into action, to develope the laws of matter? 
How many Lockes to explore the regions of mind? 
How many Erskines to adorn the bar ? And per- 
haps some other Washington, whose memory has 
now perished in obscurity, might have been freed 


from the factory or the plough, to decide the fate 
of battle, and sustain the weight of empire." 

In 1816 Mr. Howard became pastor of a baptist 
church at Windsor, where he remained for six years, 
until his removal to Troy, New York, where he 
preached until 1829. During his residence at the 
latter city, the honorary degree of A. M. was con- 
ferred upon him by Middlebury college. In com- 
pliance with the wishes of his early friends, he sub- 
sequently returned to Windsor, where he labored 
with much success for five years. His next field 
was Brooklyn, where he resided until 1837. He 
has since been stationed at Minden, Connecticut, 
Newport, Rhode Island, Norwich, Chenango county, 
and again at Troy, where a beautiful building was 
erected for the new church over which he presided. 
He is at present preaching at Hartford, New York. 

A striking peculiarity of Mr. Howard is an aver- 
sion to writing, owing to which he can scarcely 
ever be induced to execute a long letter. Rather 
than fill a couple of pages, he would, it is believed, 
take a long walk to deliver a verbal message. In 
1822, on some particular occasion, he preached be- 
fore the Vermont legislature. The sermon gave so 
much satisfaction, that a resolution of thanks was 
adopted, accompanied by a request for a copy for 
publication. But preaching was one thing, and 
writing another, and the sermon remained among 
the "unwritten things." But although indolent in 
regard to such matters, there are thousands who 
will bear witness of his energy and faithfulness in 
the discharge of his professional duties. Here no 
obstacles can deter him. Integrity, unflinching 
perseverance, benevolence, and a spirit of self-sacri- 
fice, whenever occasion calls for it, are prominent 
traits in his character. He has a voice of much 
compass, strength and richness, and does not by 
any means rank with those preachers, who are al- 
ways lulling their hearers into a refreshing slumber. 


His sermons too are short, for he, unlike many 
others, believes that " where weariness begins, pro- 
fit ends." He does not spend half an hour before 
the mirror previous to entering the pulpit, nor is 
he one of those who appear to think the arrange- 
ment of their hair, the adjustment of their cravats, 
or the cut of their coats, of more importance 
than the salvation of an immortal soul. Having 
none of the pedantry of learning, he possesses that 
sort of resistless persuasiveness, the power of which 
is " as much in the manner of saying, as in the 
thing said." 

In 1845 he was a passenger on board the ill-fated 
steamer Swallow which sunk in the Hudson river, 
and where, at the imminent peril of his life, he 
rescued several persons from a watery grave. 

In his domestic relations he is particularly happy, 
having an amiable wife and eight children.. James 
L. Howard, the eldest, married Miss Anna Gilbert, 
the accomplished daughter of the Hon. I. B. Gilbert, 
of Hartford, where, with several other members of 
the family, they at present reside. Lucy, the eldest 
daughter, married Charles Miller, Esq., of Moriah, 
Essex county, New York. 



Brother of the subject of the preceding sketch, at 
the age of nineteen, left home, with a view of find- 
ing an eligible location for teaching school. While 
getting some refreshment, at a tavern in Hobart, 
Delaware count)-, he attracted the notice of Doctor 
Gregory, of that place, who, after a long conversa- 
tion, engaged him as a teacher in his family. Gre- 
gory, although an eccentric character, was an able 
physician. With him, Howard studied medicine, 
and, by intense application, soon qualified himself 
for practice. He subsequently married Sarah, the 
sister of his preceptor, and shortly afterward re- 
moved to Haverstraw, on the Hudson, where he re- 
ceived liberal encouragement in his profession. 

While at Haverstraw, he, with others of his 
neighbors, was called down to New York city, to 
repel a threatened invasion of the British. So sud- 
den was the summons, that he had to leave his 
horse behind him, at some distance from home. 
During the few days he remained in the city, he 
was nearly killed with the camp fare ; which, ac- 
cording to the testimony of numerous sufferers, was 
calculated to do more execution than the balls of 
the enemy. 

One night the company to which he belonged 
were quartered in a large building, in sight of the 
East river, in hourly expectation of the descent of 
the British. While there, a short, fat Dutch officer, 
the market valve of whose courage was not much 
above par, strutted up to the door, and waving his 
long sword, shouted — 

"Come, poys, don't ye pe afeard. Look at me! 
I aint a pit more afeard than as if I was up to 
home !" 


A representation being made to the right quarter, 
that the village of Haverstraw was left without a 
single doctor, a fact which jeopardized the safety of 
numerous embryo patriots, Howard was permitted 
to return. 

In 1817, the subject of our sketch returned to 
Hobart, where he practised medicine for upwards 
of thirty years. A few years since, his first wife, a 
lady of great energy of character, after a lingering 
illness, paid the debt of nature. On a grassy hil- 
lock, nestled among the green mountains of that 
delightful region, repose her remains, in the same 
grave with her grand-daughter, a fair-haired girl, who 
entered the world of spirits exactly twelve months 
after the death of the former. A few weeks pre- 
vious to her departure, and while in perfect health, 
Emma desired to be taken to see the bed on which 
" grandma died." Her wish was gratified, whereon 
she said : " There, that will do; now take me home;" 
and very shortly, amidst the howling blast of a win- 
ter day, the earth was dug from the coffin of 
" grandma," and the bodies of the two were re- 
united in the icy arms of death. But, though cold 
was their pillow, and the icicles were the drapery 
of their couch, the eye of faith could discern their 
spirits in the eternal sunshine of Eden, rejoicing 
amidst the " great multitude of angels, which no 
man can number," where there is no pain, because 
there is no sin, and where ransomed millions, 
through the sufferings of the Savior, triumphantly 
exclaim: "O Death, where is thy victory? O 
Grave, where is thy sting?" 

Very recently, Dr. Howard married Emeline P. 
Ten Broeck, a highly accomplished lady, who was 
for many years preceptress of the Female academy, 
at Delhi, in which place they now reside. 

Dr. Howard was one of the earliest pioneers in 
the glorious cause of temperance ; and, after years 
of indomitable perseverance, through violent oppo- 


sition, involving great pecuniary sacrifice, he has 
lived to see the almost universal triumph of his 
principles. From early youth he has been a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church, and he has held many 
offices of honor and trust. By his first wife, he had 
six children, who are all living. 


The father of this distinguished jurist was born 
in the city of New York, at what is now the corner 
of William and Liberty streets, on the 27th of Au- 
gust, 1760. When the war of the revolution broke 
out, he was a student, at college, in Rhode Island. 
He, however, immediately left his studies, and en- 
listed in the army as a private soldier. In various 
capacities, he served during the whole war, having 
risen from the ranks to an ensigncy, and finally to 
an assistant commissary. He was at the battles of 
Monmouth, Yorktown, etc. On the establishment 
of peace, at the age of twenty-three, he started to 
seek his fortune, having nothing but a horse, sad- 
dle, bridle, two blankets, and a little continental 
money. In 1784, during his wanderings, he arrived 
at the site of what is now the city of Hudson, then 

~'ll tl Ml. .] IIH. L.I "Ml. Hi IIIWI^nj. - _, 

called CI averack landing. There, as one oi The 
few settlers, he opened a small store, in which bu- 
siness he was found by the emigrants from Nan- 
tucket and Martha's vineyard, who purchased the 
land and laid the foundation of the city. He was 
at one time a member of the assembly, and high 
sheriff of the county, and he continued in trade 
until the war of 1812, when he again entered the 
service of his country. He was soon appointed 
paymaster-general of the militia, in which office he 

American biographical sketch book. 241 

continued for several years after the termination of 
the war. 

He died at Hudson, in 1826, and within a few 
years, a beautiful monument has arisen in its grave- 
yard, erected to his memory by his sons. His wife, 
the mother of the judge, was Lydia Worth, daugh- 
ter of Thomas Worth, one of the first settlers of 
Hudson. She was a descendant of William Worth, 
who emigrated from Devonshire, England, in 1640, 
and settled in Nantucket. From this common 
stock have descended, Major-General Worth, of 'the 
United States army; G. A. Worth, Esq., president 
of the New York City bank; and the Olcott and 
Edmonds families. 

After the death of Gen. Edmonds, his widow re- 
sided chiefly with her son, the judge, until she died, 
on the 20th of November, 1841. She was a mem- 
ber of the society of Friends, and instilled into her 
children many of the tenets of that respected sect, 
which have evidently influenced their conduct 
through life. 

Judge Edmonds was born in the city of Hudson, 
on the 13th of March, 1799. His early education 
was at private schools, and at the academy at Hud- 
son, where he prepared for college. In October, 
1814, he entered the sophomore class, of Williams 
college, Massachusetts, in company with John 
Birdsall, afterwards circuit judge of the eighth cir- 
cuit, and attorney-general of Texas. In 1815, he 
solicited his dismissal from the college, and entered 
Union college, at Schenectady, where he graduated 
in July, 1816. His share in the exercises of the 
commencement, was the Fall of Poland. On leav- 
ing college, he began the study of the law, at 
Cooperstown, with George Monell, Esq., afterwards 
chief justice of Michigan. After remaining at that 
place about six months, he returned to Hudson, 
where he studied two years, in the office of Monell 
& Van Buren. 


In the fall of 1819, he entered the office of Mar- 
tin Van Buren, in Albany. He continued with the 
ex-president, residing in his family, until May, 
1820, when he returned to Hudson, and entered 
upon the practice of the law. He continued at 
Hudson, until his removal to New York, in Novem- 
ber, 1837. 

Inheriting the military disposition of his father, 
we find the judge, at the age of nineteen, a lieute- 
nant in the militia, which commission he held for 
about fifteen years, when he obtained the command 
of his regiment. This office he resigned, in 1828, 
on being appointed, by De Witt Clinton, recorder 
of Hudson. To this day, throughout the old coun- 
ty of Columbia, the judge is addressed as colonel, 
military honors appearing invariably to take prece- 
dence of all others. 

At an early age, he took an active part in poli- 
tics, ranking himself as a democrat, and the first 
vote he ever gave was for Daniel D. Tompkins, 
when he ran for governor, against De Witt Clinton. 

In 1830, the judge was elected by the democrats 
of Columbia, to the assembly, in which body he 
soon became a leading and influential member. 

In the fall of 1831, he was elected to the state 
senate, receiving, in his district, an unprecedented 
majority of over 7,500 votes. 

In the senate, he served four years, during the 
whole of which time, in addition to other duties, he 
was a member of the judiciary committee, and for 
the last three years, chairman of the bank commit- 

It was also during his senatorial term that the 
subject of nullification, arising out of the forcible 
resistance of South Carolina to the tariff laws, oc- 
cupied the public mind. A joint committee of the 
two houses was raised on the matter, and the judge 
was a member on the part of the senate. An ela- 
borate report, drawn up by Mr. Van Buren, then 


vice-president of the United States, was made by 
Mr. N. P. Tallmadge, the chairman of the commit- 
tee. About that time, Mr. Tallmadge was elected 
to the United States senate, and opposition to his 
report on nullification unexpectedly arising - , the de- 
fence of it devolved upon Judge Edmonds. The 
debate lasted more than a week, during which time 
the judge stood alone against six of the most pro- 
minent senators on the other side. The result was 
the adoption of the report by an overwhelming 

In 1834 the judge was chairman of a joint com- 
mittee of the two houses, to whom was referred the 
subject of the United States bank, which its op- 
ponents alleged was creating pecuniary distress, 
with a view of extorting from congress a renewal 
of its charter. 

In the summer of 1836 Judge Edmonds was ap- 
pointed by General Jackson, a commissioner to 
carry into effect the treaty with the Ottawa and 
Chippewa tribes of Indians. This business took 
him during the summer to Michilimackinac, where 
for nearly two months, he was encamped with over 
six hundred natives. In the ensuing year he re- 
ceived appointments in relation to other tribes, but 
in the fall of 1837 he relinquished them and removed 
from Hudson to New York, where he resumed the 
practice of law. He almost immediately, found 
himself in an extensive and profitable business 
among the merchant princes of the commercial 

In April, 1843, without any solicitation on his 
part, the judge was appointed by Governor Bouck, 
an inspector of the state prison at Sing Sing. It 
was with much hesitation that he accepted this 
unthankful task. The labor was indeed Herculean. 
Scarcely any discipline was maintained in the prison, 
and the female prisoners had the entire control of their 
officers; hundreds of the males were entirely idle, 


and the earnings fell short of the expenses by over 
$40,000. But within eighteen months, a great 
change was effected, and the female portion of the 
prison was brought into complete subjection. Strict 
discipline was introduced and maintained among 
the males, and the annual deficiency in the revenue 
was reduced to less than a tenth part of the former 

This task, however, was easy in comparison with 
a reform of a different character which he sought 
to introduce. He found, that for more than fifteen 
years, the system of government which had prevail- 
ed in our state prisons, was one purely of force ; and 
where no sentiment was sought to be awakened in 
the breast of the prisoner but that of fear, and no 
duty exacted from him but that of implicit obedi- 
ence. No instrument of punishment was used but 
the whip, which had the effect of arousing only the 
worst passions of both convicts and officers — a 
practice of abominable cruelty, long engrafted upon 
our penitentiary system — revolting to humanity, 
and destructive to all hope of reforming the prisoner. 
So thoroughly had it become engrafted, that the 
most experienced officers insisted that there was no 
other mode by which order could be kept. Besides, 
they found it was then so very easy to govern in 
that way. 

Passion, prejudice and selfishness, all combined 
to place obstacles in the way of this proposed reform, 
and its progress was very slow. Yet it steadily ad- 
vanced, and when in 1845, the judge resigned the 
office of inspector, his system was in the full tide 
of experiment. It has been continued by his suc- 
cessors to the present time. It has also been intro- 
duced into the state prisons at Auburn and Clinton, 
and is now the governing principle in all our state 
penitentiaries. With a view of carrying out his 
plan, in December, 1844, he instituted a "Prison 
Discipline society," the object of which is the reform 


of prison government and the aiding of prisoners, on 
their discharge, to lead honest lives. This society 
is in very successful operation, and enjoys a large 
share of public confidence. How great an amount 
of good can be accomplished by a single philan- 
thropic individual; and for this one movement of 
the judge, how many poor wretches will rise up 
and call him blessed ! For this the tear of gratitude 
shall fall upon his grave, while angels proclaim 
that, " he Avho turneth one sinner from the error of 
his way, shall shine as the stars forever." " Man 
dies, but not one of his acts ever dies. Each per- 
petuated and prolonged by interminable results, 
affects some beings in every age to come." 

On the 18th of February, 1845, Mr. Edmonds re- 
ceived the appointment of circuit judge of the first 
circuit, in the place of Judge Kent, who had re- 
signed. That office he held until June, 1847, when 
he was elected a judge of the supreme court. 

In the discharge of his duties as circuit judge, he 
was always fearless and independent, reminding us 
of the famous Matthew Hale. A most extraordi- 
nary instance of this was exhibited at the anti-rent 
trials in Columbia county, in September, 1^45. The 
counsel employed in those trials, had been engaged 
in the same cases at the circuit in the March pre- 
ceding, and had then manifested no little combat- 
iveness. They displayed the same warmth before 
Judge Edmonds, and carried it so far as to come to 
blows in open court. The offenders were gentlemen 
of high standing, and personal friends of the judge, 
and both at once apologized for their contempt of 
court. But the judge, with great promptness, com- 
mitted them both to prison, and adjourned his court 
with the remark, that it was not his fault that the 
cause of public justice was thus interrupted. Per- 
haps none regretted this momentary outbreak more 
than the parties themselves, whose manners in pri- 
vate life are courteous in the extreme 


This event attracted a great deal of attention 
throughout the Union, and was noticed by European 
papers as "evidence of advancing civilization in 
America." The most gratifying feature of the case 
was, that it did not disturb the personal good feel- 
ing which had previously existed between the par- 
ties engaged in it. 

Upon the organization of the judiciary, under the 
new state constitution, Judge Edmonds was nomi- 
nated for justice of the supreme court by the bar of 
New York, and by the Tammany party, and was 
elected by a majority exceeding any of his col- 
leagues. This result cannot but be gratifying not 
only to him, but to the public, inasmuch as during 
his judgeship he had made several decisions that 
warred upon popular prejudice, and immediately 
before his election he had, with others of the de- 
mocratic party, protested against the admission of 
Texas into the Union, as eminently calculated to 
lead to a war with Mexico and to perpetuate the 
extension of slavery. Subsequent events have jus- 
tified the sagacity which marked that act, while 
the act itself has subjected the gentlemen engaged 
in it to much obloquy and censure from their politi- 
cal associates. This proceeding was, however, re- 
buked in his triumphant election by the public, who 
honored him for his independence of character. 

The judge has one brother, Francis, cashier of 
the Mechanics' bank in New York, and somewhat 
distinguished as an artist. He has also three sisters, 
two of whom reside in the state of New York, and 
the third, the wife of Colonel Webb of the United 
States army, is living in Illinois. 

The family of the judge consists of three daugh- 
ters, two of whom are married. 



The late General Root, whose name has been so 
long identified with the history of our country, was 
a native of Hebron, Connecticut. He was born on 
the 16th of March, 1773. The maiden name of his 
mother was Baldwin. His father, William Root, 
born on the 31st of August, 1731, was also a native 
of that place. His grandfather, whose name also 
was William, was born at Northampton, Massachu- 
setts, in 1695. The latter went to Hebron, with his 
father, Jacob Root, who removed with his family 
to that place, in 1705. Jacob was a native of Hart- 
ford, from which town he, with his father, Thomas 
Root, removed to Northampton. 

Erastus pursued his collegiate education at Dart- 
mouth college, teaching school in the winter 
months. He graduated at that institution, with 
high honor, at a very early age. He studied law 
with Sylvester Gilbert, a distinguished lawyer of 
Hebron. He was licensed to practise law in the 
spring of 1796. In that year, he removed to Dela- 
ware county, New York, (then Otsego, west of the 
Delaware river, and Ulster on the east.) He settled 
in Franklin, in which town was then included the 
present villages of Delhi and Walton, with the view 
of practising his profession. 

The following year, being then only twenty-four 
years of age, he was elected to the legislature of 
New York, as a representative from the county of 
Delaware. From that time up to 1843, he repre- 
sented the county in various ways, in both branches 
of the legislature, in congress, and in the constitu- 
tional convention of 1821. 

In 1801, he was in the state senate, and was one 
of the members who voted for the Jefferson electors 


(electors for president and vice-president being then 
chosen by the legislature). In 1823, and 1824, he 
was president of the senate, during which time he 
was lieutenant-governor of the state. 

His legislative career may be summed up as fol- 
lows : Member of the assembly, eleven years, three 
of which he was speaker; member of congress, nine 
years ; state senator, eight years ; and president of 
the senate, and lieutenant-governor, two years; 
also, member of the constitutional convention of 
1821, one year. It is a curious fact, that during 
his first two legislative terms, he was the youngest 
member of the legislature, ; and, during the last two 
years, he was the oldest member! 

He was appointed, by the legislature, one of the 
persons to revise the laws of the state ; but, it is be- 
lieved, he resigned before the revisers met. His 
term, as state senator, expired in 1843, on which he 
retired from public life. 

Mr. Hammond, speaking of Gen. Root, in 1813, 
says of him : 

" Though a little uncouth in his manner, and 
rough, and I fear somewhat rude in his expressions, 
his wit was keen, and his sarcasms severe and bit- 
ing. He seized with great force and effect upon 
the prominent points, and especially those points 
most likely to make an impression on the popular 
ear, and pressed them with a power almost irresist- 
ible. His illustrations were exceedingly clear and 
well chosen, and his attacks upon his opponents 
were severe in the extreme. From the year 1798, 
down to this period, he had been almost continual- 
ly a member of the state or national legislature, and 
possessing, as he did, a most retentive memory, he 
was perfectly at home upon all matters relating to 
the action of goverment, and the operations of the 
two great political parties. He had much parlia- 
mentary tact, and although uncouth in his manner, 
he was a man of correct literary taste, and highly 


cultivated intellect. He was a scholar, and a good 
and ripe one." 

He received his appointment as colonel, in 1803; 
that of brigadier-general, in 1808; and that of ma- 
jor-general, in 1816. The latter office he resigned 
in 1824. 

On the 4th of October, 1806, he was united in 
marriage with Miss Elizabeth Stockton, of Walton, 
Delaware county, who is still living. They had 
five children; two sons, Charles and William; and 
three daughters, Julianne, Elizabeth and Augusta. 
William entered the army as a lieutenant; and is 
now settled, with his family, as a farmer, in Wis- 
consin. Charles was a midshipman in the United 
States navy, and died at Rio Janeiro, of the typhus 
fever. Julianne is the wife of the Hon. S. R. Hob- 
bie, first assistant postmaster-general. Elizabeth 
was married to Henry L. Robinson, Esq. ; and Au- 
gusta, who was married to William Fuller, Esq., of 
Georgia, died in Alabama, on the 11th of Decem- 
ber, 1838. 

During the latter portion of his life, while travel- 
ing, on several occasions he narrowly escaped 
death; but his time had not arrived. The shafts of 
death may fly thick, but their aim is directed by 
Omnipotence. At best, there is but a step between 
us and the spirit-land; the bursting of a boiler, the 
upsetting of a stage, or a crumb of food that w.e swal- 
low, may be as fatal as the cannon ball. It has 
been truly remarked, that the small things of life 
are often of more importance than the great, the 
slow than the quick, the still than the noisy. " The 
castle, and the palace, and the church, stand for 
years the raging of the wind, the beating of the 
rain, the red bolt of the lightning, yet crumble down 
beneath the quiet touch of time, without any one 
seeing where and when the fell destroyer was at 

For some time previous to his death, Gen. Root 


seemed aware of his approaching dissolution. He 
felt that he could remain this side the grave but a 
short time. Indeed, it was a theme upon which 
he frequently dwelt, and with much earnestness 
and feeling. We well remember, says N. Bowne, 
Esq!, of the Delaware Express, a conversation 
which passed between us, in our office, a day or 
two before he started on his journey. He said he 
was leaving Delhi, in all probability, for the last 
time — that he had passed the age allotted to man, 
three score years and ten, and was already a proba- 
tioner some four years. He said he felt his bodily 
strength failing very fast, and that he believed the 
time for his departure was near at hand. With this 
solemn reality strongly impressed upon his mind, 
he spent some time in closing up his affairs — nor 
ceased till his earthly house was set in order. 
While looking upon the venerable face of our de- 
parted friend, on Monday, how forcibly were we 
reminded of the last time we met, but about two 
weeks before — when he handed us a MS. he desired 
to be published, saying: "It is, in all probability, 
sir, the last document I shall ever prepare for the 
public press." He was right. 

He died in the city of New York, at the residence 
of his nephew, George St. John, Esq., on Thursday 
morning, the 24th of December, 1846, aged seven- 
ty-three years and nine months. His principal 
complaint was inflammation of the kidneys. His 
illness was short, and he was soon removed from 
time into eternity. His remains were carried to 
Delhi, which place he had left, with his wife, two 
weeks previously, with the intention of spending 
the winter at Washington. 



This eminent historical scholar, whose term as a 
state senator from the district embracing New York 
city, has very recently expired, is descended from 
a family of the name at Exeter, New Hampshire, 
who were among the early settlers of that beautiful 
village, about two centuries ago. The late General 
Nathaniel Folsom, so highly distinguished in the 
war of the revolution, is of the same family. 

Mr. Folsom graduated at Cambridge university, 
in 1822, and studied law in the office of the Hon. 
E. Shepley, at Saco, near Portland, Me. He com- 
menced the practice of his profession at Worcester, 
Mass. He subsequently removed to the city of 
New York, his present residence, where in con- 
nexion with his professional duties, he, as a mem- 
ber of the New York Historical Society, has devoted 
a large portion of his time to the pursuit of his fa- 
vorite study, American history. 

He married the daughter of Benjamin Winthrop 
Esq., a lineal descendant of John Winthrop, the 
first governor of Massachusetts. The mother of his 
accomplished lady was a daughter of Peter Stuy- 
vesant Esq., and the fourth generation from the 
Dutch governor, whose estates are still in the pos- 
session of his descendants. 



One of the "merchant princes" of New York, is 
a descendant of John Spofford, one of those who, 
in consequence of their religious tenets, came over 
with the Rev. Ezekiel Rogers to Massachusetts in 
1638. John was the first settler of New Rowley, 
now Georgetown, Massachusetts. 

The early life of the subject of our sketch was 
spent upon the farm, a portion of which has de- 
scended to him from his ancestor. But at the age 
of twenty-two, his taste inclining him to trade, he 
obtained a situation in a store at Salem, New Hamp- 
shire. After remaining there and at Haverhill, 
Massachusetts, for about two years, he formed a 
partnership with Thomas Tileston, at that time 
editor of the Haverhill Gazette, and in 1818 went 
to New York city, where he has since continued to 

Mr. Spofford has been twice married. His first 
wife was the niece and ward of the late Hon. Jere- 
miah Nelson, member of congress from Newbury- 
port. His present amiable lady is the daughter of 
the Rev. Dr. Spring, of New York. 

What an encouraging example does the career 
of this eminent merchant afford to young men. It 
shows that perseverance, united with integrity, will 
accomplish almost every thing within the sphere 
of human effort. 



The celebrated heroine of Groton, Connecticut, is 
still living at that place, where she is post mistress 
for life. It appears that the industrious editor of 
the Democratic Review, recently visited the aged 
" mother," from whom he gathered some interest- 
ing particulars. 

She distinguished herself greatly in the days of 
the revolution, bat more particularly in the last war 
with England. On the 13th of July, 1813, the Bri- 
tish made demonstrations of an intention to land, 
and attack New London. The theatre of these hos- 
tile movements was too near the many painful in- 
cidents of the revolution, not to awaken, instantly, 
the memory of deep-felt and aggravated wrongs, 
and to fire the bosoms of the inhabitants, with a 
spirit akin to that by which they had been actuated 
in the revolution. No sooner, then, had the British 
squadron approached, and their object become ap- 
parent, than crowds of men, from beardless youth 
to extreme old age, hurried to the scene of danger, 
on both sides of the river. All was intense commo- 
tion, in expectation of an immediate attack. Old 
Fort Griswold was again tenanted, by a company 
of hastily gathered volunteers, under the command 
of Major Simeon Smith, and every arrangement 
made for a vigorous and determined defence. The 
defendants were all animated as one man, and 
though their means of resistance were meagre, they 
resolved to make the most of them. Small cannon, 
the best they had, were planted and manned at the 
fort; but it was soon discovered that there was an 
insufficient quantity of ammunition, for a protract- 
ed contest. They wanted flannel to make the car- 
tridges, and feared that the time would not allow to 


cross the ferry to New London, in search of it. In 
this emergency, an individual was despatched to 
obtain all he could, in the neighboring village of 
G-roton. But, whatever stores the villagers might 
have had, there was no flannel. 

What was to be done ? The messenger, almost 
in despair, called upon Mrs. Bailey for counsel, and 
made known his wants. He knew, at all events, 
that she would do every thing in her power to as- 
sist him. She at once proposed appealing indivi- 
dually to the occupants of each house in the neigh- 
borhood, and they found all ready to give up what 
they had to spare, whether unfashioned or made 
into garments. Having completed their respective 
visits, Mrs. Bailey and her co-laborer met, in the 
street, and she delivered to him all that she had 
collected. But, even when added to his, it was 
found inadequate to the occasion. Mrs. Bailey, 
however, was not to be defeated in her object. She 
instantly threw off her petticoat from her own person, 
where she stood in the street, exclaiming, as she 
gave it to him, " There, fire that at them !" and the 
messenger started off immediately to his comrades. 
The result is known. The enemy, in this case at 
least, deemed discretion the better part of valor, and 
did not land. Such is the prominent incident 
which has won for Mother Bailey an imperishable 
fame. The effect through the region was electric, 
and that petticoat, had it been borne aloft as a ban- 
ner, in the day of fight, would have animated the 
soldiers of the good cause, had it been necessary, 
with an ardor as enthusiastic, a courage as un- 
daunted, and an energy as indomitable, as were 
once inspired in the bosoms of Frenchmen, by the 
presence of Joan d'Arc. What agency the petti- 
coat had in prosecuting the war, by the way of car- 
tridges, we know not ; but of this we are assured, 
that Mother Bailey feels as proud of the act of its 
appropriation, as a monarch could of his crown. 



It has been well observed, that it is a particular 
felicity of our republican institutions, that they throw 
no impediments in the career of merit, but the com- 
petition of rival abilities ; and into which career it 
may enter without encountering the repulses of 
artificial rank, or winning its patronage by unwor- 
thy compliances. The history of Professor March, 
one of the most eminent physicians and surgeons 
in the United States, affords an additional illustra- 
tion of this fact. 

His ancestors, we perceive, were English. They 
were among the early settlers of New England, and 
resided in the town of Newbury, Massachusetts. In 
the history of that town, the name of March occurs 
as early as 1653. In 1651 a sumptuary law had 
been passed by the town authorities, for the viola- 
tion of which, in 1653, charges were preferred against 
the, wives of Nicholas Noyss, William Chandler, 
and Hugh March, for severally wearing a silk hood 
and scarf. But upon the ladies proving that their 
husbands were worth two hundred pounds sterling 
each, the charges were dismissed. 

At a subsequent date, the names of John and 
George March, are found connected with the history 
of Newbury. The grandfather of Alden, and his 
father, Jacob March, both resided at Newbury. 
Jacob was born there on the 17th of July, 1747. 
When only seven years of age, Jacob removed with 
the family to Sutton, Worcester county, Massachu- 
setts. The maiden name of his mother was Eleanor 
Moore. She was the daughter of Captain David 
Moore, for some time sheriff of Worcester county. 

The subject of this sketch was born in that part 
of Sutton now called Millbury, on the 20th of Sep 


tember, 1795. He was the youngest of seven bro- 
thers. His father was a plain New England farmer, 
and Alden was brought up to work on the farm, 
of which, at a very early age, he took the chief 
management. Like many others similarly situated, 
his opportunities for school instruction were but 
very small, and those chiefly in the severe part of 
the winter. When Alden was nineteen, his father 
died, whereupon, he became anxious to enter upon 
a mercantile life. With this view he spent a year 
in the store of an elder brother, after which he spent 
a short period at the Munson academy, where, in 
his 22d year, he commenced the study of English 
grammar. After teaching a district school for a few 
months, he spent the next spring and summer in 
cutting house slate at a quarry in Hoosick, Rensse- 
laer county. He subsequently visited the city of 
New York, where he made an ineffectual attempt 
to obtain employment in the mercantile business. 
He then returned to Sutton, Massachusetts, where 
his brother, a physician, suggested the idea of study- 
ing medicine. His objections, however, were strong 
ones, viz., the want of means, and the want of ed- 
ucation. The former, two of his brothers agreed to 
furnish, and the latter, he resolved to obviate as 
well as he could. Losing no time, he soon acquired 
a very respectable stock of Latin and Greek. He 
also in 1818 and 1819, attended medical lectures at 
Boston,, given by Prof. William Ingalls, then attach- 
ed to the medical department of Brown university. 
Full of ambition, our student embraced every 
opportunity for acquiring knowledge, particularly 
those afforded in the dissecting rooms, and by sur- 
gical operations. He was also early initiated into 
the art and mystery of procuring supplies for the 
dissecting room, the particulars of which, it is pre- 
sumed, it would not be safe to entrust to other than 
professional ears. During the vacation he pursued 
his studies with his brother, and during the haying 


season he worked out at a dollar per day. He at- 
tended the next term at Boston, where he had 
charge of the lecture room and the furnishing of it 
with "supplies." 

In the execution of this delicate duty, it may be 
readily inferred that Alden had some interesting 
adventures. During this term it appears that medi- 
cal institutions in other states, being unable to 
obtain "subjects," sent agents to Boston, so that 
there were very soon no less than three "Richmonds 
in the field," not the field of battle, but Potter's 
field. The members of the institution to which 
Dr. March was attached, conceiving themselves to 
possess a preemption right, frequently came into 
collision with the others. On one occasion the 
body of a drowned sailor was exhumed by the 
foreign agents, but being disturbed, they were forced 
to fly, leaving the "subject" behind a barn near 
the burial ground. Professor Ingalls hearing of it 
an hour afterwards, and being aware that should 
the body be discovered by the citizens, great excite- 
ment would follow, sent for Dr. March, and although 
past midnight, told him that at all hazards, the 
body must be removed and the grave filled up. 
Procuring an assistant, and after considerable delay, 
a horse and wagon, the doctor started; but just as 
they were leaving the city, the clock struck three. 
Having not a moment to lose, they dashed forward. 
On arriving at the burial ground, it was nearly day- 
light, and the market people were coming into the 
city. Watching his opportunity, Dr. March, a re- 
markably strong man, lifted the sack containing the 
body, weighing at least one hundred and seventy 
pounds, and carried it to the wagon. Being now 
after seven o'clock, and broad daylight, they could 
not venture to return to the city. In this emergency, 
Dr. March, having a friend who lived at a distance 
of some miles on the Common, drove there, where 
the "subject" was concealed in a barn, until the 


return of night afforded an opportunity for convey- 
ing it to " head quarters." But the foreign agents 
declared, although wrongfully, that it was the Bos- 
ton students who had drove them from the ground, 
and thus deprived them of the fruits of their labor. 

During this term, he with several others formed 
themselves into a club, and having obtained some 
of the bones of a skeleton, they alternately lectured 
to each other, demonstrating the more important 
parts of the " subject." Perhaps his idea of becom- 
ing a lecturer may be traced to this circumstance. 
He employed all the time he could spare, in making 
preparations of the different parts of the human 
body, which he afterwards found of great use. 
Many of them, in a good state of preservation, may 
be seen at the museum of the Albany Medical col- 

In the fall of 1820, Dr. March graduated at Brown 
university, receiving the degree of Doctor of Medi- 
cine. He soon afterwards left Massachusetts, with 
the design of settling in Troy, New York. But 
there being no vacancy, he went to Albany. There 
he succeeded in obtaining a situation as assistant 
in the office of Dr. Elias Willard, where, during a 
year, he posted books, collected accounts, and at- 
tended to other office affairs. His compensation 
consisted in perquisites, which, in all, did not 
amount to over $100, less than half his current ex- 

By this time, however, his collection of anatomi- 
cal preparations began to attract considerable no- 
tice; and the idea occurred to him, that by means 
of those and a few recent subjects, he could give a 
course of anatomical instruction to the students of 
the place, and such others as might feel interested. 
Accordingly, in the fall of 1821, he commenced 
lecturing on anatomy and physiology, in Albany, 
to a small class of some fourteen or sixteen young 
men, mostly medical students. His first lecture 


was a written one. For the second, he prepared a 
few notes only, from which he attempted to extem- 
porize. But in so doing, he used up the notes, the 
subject and himself, by the time the hour was about 
half through, and had nothing more to say ! He 
was sadly discouraged, and on the point of abandon- 
ing the whole matter, when a medical friend urged 
him to persevere, insisting that to give up under 
such circumstances, would be the prelude to defeat 
and disaster in whatever he might undertake. So 
he determined to persevere, and he succeeded. He 
then went forward, giving the first course of the 
kind ever given in Albany. The lecture room was 
the upper part of a small two story building in 
Montgomery street, and which had previously been 
occupied as the Albany Female academy. From 
this course of lectures, the Albany Medical college 
may properly date its origin. And it is a curious 
fact, that these two nourishing institutions should 
have commenced in the same humble building. 
How many a nourishing tree has taken root in an 
obscure corner. 

In the spring of 1822, Dr. March commenced for 
himself the practice of medicine, and the writer has 
more than once, heard of a remarkable instance of 
the indomitable perseverance of the doctor in over- 
coming difficulties. Should this meet his eye, it is 
presumed he will not disavow it. Having no means 
of procuring that indispensable requisite to a young 
doctor, a "subject," he, in a very inclement season, 
borrowed a horse and waggon from a relative, and 
drove all the way to Boston, where Potter's field 
"suffered some." He started homeward with a 
brace of subjects, and on arriving at Grreenbush, the 
Hudson river was but just frozen over. He, how- 
ever, with his " company," dashed across, the ice 
cracking beneath the wheels the whole distance. 

It was in 1822 that the doctor published an article 
in the Daily Advertiser, suggesting and advocating 


the establishment of a medical college and hospital, 
in the city of Albany, which subsequently became 
the subject of much newspaper discussion. 

In the fall of that year, he, with four other phy- 
sicians of Albany, made arrangements for giving a 
gratuitous summary course on anatomy, physiology, 
theory and practice, materia medica, obstetrics and 
surgery. It appears, however, that his colleagues 
did not fulfil their promises, so that Dr. March had 
to go through the whole course without any assist- 
ance. This affair, we perceive, gav r e rise to con- 
siderable correspondence in the newspapers of the 

On the 22d of February, 1824, Dr. March was 
united in marriage with Joanna, the fourth daugh- 
ter of Silas Armsby, of Sutton, Massachusetts. In 
the summer of the following year, he was appointed 
professor of anatomy and physiology in the Vermont 
Academy of Medicine, now called the Castleton 
Medical college, in which he continued until 1835. 
The term at Castleton was in the fall ; and during 
the ten years he was professor in that institution, 
he gave every winter at Albany, a private course 
upon anatomy, physiology, and operative surgery. 
By his connexion with the Vermont academy, be 
became acquainted with Professor Tully, one of his 
colleagues in that institution, and with whom, in 
1827, he formed a business connexion, which con- 
tinued for three years, and which was of great ad- 
vantage to Prof. March in extending his literary 
and scientific acquirements. 

In 1832, when the cholera prevailed in this coun- 
try, it was particularly destructive in the state prison 
at Sing Sing. A commission of medical men being 
appointed by Governor Throop to visit the prison, 
Prof. March was appointed from the city of Albany, 
and Doctors Stevens, Rhinelander and McNiven 
were appointed from the city of New York. The 
pressure, however, of duties, private and public, his 


connexion with the board of health at Albany, to- 
gether with this visit to Sing Sing, came very near 
terminating his life. 

In the winter of 1832, after a hotly contested 
election, Prof. March was elected president of the 
Albany County Medical society. 

In the spring of 1833, he, at his own expense, 
fitted up lecture rooms in the city of Albany, where 
a course of medical lectures was given by a portion 
of the faculty of the Vermont academy, and two or 
three other medical gentlemen of Albany. 

Owing to petitions to that effect, which had been 
for the previous six years, successively presented by 
Prof. March and others, the legislature passed an 
act incorporating the Albany Medical college, which 
institution, it will be remembered, took its rise from 
the course of lectures given by Prof. March in 1821. 
It is true, the immediate foundation of the college 
is due to several others, who united their efforts 
with his, but all will admit that he is fairly entitled 
to the credit of originating it. After its incorpora- 
tion, many obstacles of great magnitude had to be 
surmounted, and difficulties, growing out of local 
and general opposition, to be overcome. Owing to 
the efforts he made during this struggle, and his 
professional labors, his health was seriously im- 

In organizing a faculty, the trustees of the college 
appointed Prof. March to the chair of surgery, which 
he has ever since filled with high honor to himself 
and to the institution. The faculty, at their first 
organization in 1839, elected him president of the 
college, which office he has continued to hold to 
the present time. 

In the spring of 1841, with a view of improving 
Jiis health and the acquisition of professional know- 
ledge, Prof. March visited Europe. He wished par- 
ticularly to perfect himself in operating for club 
foot and strabismus or squint eye, having performed 


numerous operations, especially in the latter, pre- 
vious to witnessing any such operations performed 
by others. He spent a month in visiting the hospi- 
tals, medical colleges, and museums of London, 
where he had frequent opportunities of witnessing 
the operations of the most distinguished surgeons. 
He afterwards travelled through England, visiting 
all the principal towns. The month of June, in 
that year, he spent in Paris, where he daiiy visited 
extensive hospitals, and witnessed a great number 
of surgical operations. He also visited the univer- 
sities, hospitals, &c, of Edinburgh and Glasgow, 
where the same facilities were extended to him. 
He also visited the lakes and highlands of Scotland, 
from whence he continued his route to the Giant's 
Causeway, Belfast, and Dublin. After visiting the 
hospitals of the latter city, he returned to Liverpool, 
and from thence to Boston, in a Cunard steamer. 

In the fall of 1841, he was elected a trustee in 
the first Presbyterian church of Albany, and during 
the past year, ne held the office of president of the 

Of the merits of Prof. March as a physician and 
surgeon, it is not necessary to speak. One might 
as well attempt to 

" Paint the lilly, 

Or gild refined gold." 

He stands before the public as one who has suc- 
cessfully buffetted the storm, and who, by his own 
exertions, has arrived at his present enviable posi- 



The Eev. George Bush is professor of Hebrew in 
the University of New York. He affords a remark- 
able instance of perseverance through difficulties, 
being in a great measure, a self-taught man. He 
has long been distinguished for the extent and va- 
riety of his attainments in oriental literature, and 
probably as an oriental linguist, has no equal in this 
country. He has, says Mr. Poe, published a great 
deal, and his books have always the good fortune 
to attract attention through the civilized world. 
His Treatise on the Millenium, is perhaps that of 
his earlier compositions by which he is most exten- 
sively, as well as most favorably known. Of late 
days, he has created a singular commotion in the 
realm of theology by his Anastasis, or the Doctrine 
of the Resurrection : in which it is argued that the 
doctrine of the resurrection of the body is not 
sanctioned by reason or revelation. This work 
has been zealously attacked, and as zealously de- 
fended by the professor and his friends. A subse- 
quent work on The Soul, by the author of Anastasis, 
has made nearly as much noise as the Anastasis 

He is a Mesmerist and a Swedenborgian — has 
lately been engaged in editing Swedenborg's works, 
publishing them in numbers. He converses with 
fervor, and often with eloquence. 

He is one of the most amiable men in the world, 
universally respected and beloved. His frank, un- 
pretending simplicity of demeanor, is especially 

"In person he is tall, nearly six feet, and spare, 
with large bones. His countenance expresses 
rather benevolence and profound earnestness than 


high intelligence. The eyes are piercing; the other 
features, in general, massive. The forehead, phre- 
nologically, indicates causality and comparison, 
with deficient ideality — the organization which in- 
duces strict logicality from insufficient premises. 
He walks with a slouching gait and with an air of 
abstraction. His dress is exceedingly plain. In 
respect to the arrangement about his study, he has 
many of the Magliabechian habits." 

Professor Bush was born on the 12th of June, 

While the above was in the press, the writer dis- 
covered another very interesting work by Professor 
Bush, in which he, it is thought, triumphantly 
proves that the prophecies relating to the restoration 
of the Jews, are to have a literal fulfilment, and 
that the land of hallowed memories, is yet to receive 
again its ancient tenants, and to yield its teeming 
riches to the old age of the same people, whose in- 
fancy was nurtured upon its maternal bosom ; that 
the olive and the vine shall again spread their 
honors over the mountains once delectable, but 
now desolate ; and that the corn shall yet laugh in 
the valleys where the prowling Bedouin pitches his 
tent, " Without assuming," says he, " to fix with 
absolute precision, the day or the year which the 
counsels of Providence may have assigned to the 
fulfilment, we are still confident that we incur no 
hazard in saying, that the most accurate researches 
in prophetic chronology, as well as the pregnant 
signs of the times, afford abundant warrant for the 
belief, that we are now just upon the borders of 
that sublime crisis in Providence of which the re- 
storation of the Jews to Syria, and their ingather- 
ing into the church, is to be one of the prominent 


Oh ! lost and loved Jerusalem ! 

That we on earth may stay, 
To see thy glorious harvest home 

In thy redeeming day ! 
To see thy mountain cedars green, 

Thy valleys fresh and fair, 
With summers bright as they have been, 

When Israel's home was there ! 

Thine are the wandering race that go 

Unbless'd through every land, 
Whose blood hath stained the polar snow, 

And quenched the desert sand ; 
And thine the homeless hearts that turn 

From all earth's shrines to thee, 
With their lone faith for ages borne 

In sleepless memory. 

For thrones are fallen and nations gone, 

Before the march of time, 
And where the ocean rolled alone, 

Are forests in their prime ; 
Since Gentile ploughshares marred the brow 

Of Zion's holy hill- 
Where are the Roman eagles now ? 

Yet Judah wanders still. 

And hath she wandered thus in vain, 

A pilgrim of the past ? 
No ! long deferred her hope hath been, 

But it shall come at last ; 
For in her waste a voice I hear, 

As from some prophet's urn, 
It bids the nations build not there, 

For Jacob shall return. 




"Was born on the 8th of April, 1797. at Cortwright, 
New York. His parents emigrated from Connecti- 
cut to Delaware county, in 1794, and subsequently- 
removed to Harpersfield, where they have resided 
on a farm ever since. At the early age of fourteen, 
Zelotis obtained a hope in the Savior, and at that 
age was baptized by the Rev. Warren Luke. All 
the education his parents had been able to give him, 
was that of a common school, which he occasional- 
ly attended during the winter months, between the 
age of six and eleven years. From eleven to the 
age of twenty-one, he lived with his eldest brother, 
who was a farmer, at Stamford. During that in- 
terval, Zelotis was so deplorably ignorant of book 
learning, that had any one ventured to foretell his 
future eminence as a preacher, it would have been 
admitted as good proof of insanity. 

A few months after attaining his majority, influ- 
enced by a sense of duty to God and to man, he 
commenced trying to preach. Under the disadvan- 
tages which he labored, as is always the case, he 
had to encounter the sneers and ridicule of men of 
the world, who, without any agency of their own, 
had received a better education. " How often does 
a noble and gifted soul become an object of scorn 
and neglect, because its peculiarity and preponde- 
rating excellence is unacknowledged by surround- 
ing persons. The ass treads down the most beau- 
tiful flower — man the most faithful brother's heart. 

At the age of twenty-two, Mr. Grinnell settled on 
the line between Orange and Sussex counties, a 
broken, though an old settled country. When he 
commenced preaching, he was totally ignorant of 
the first principles of English grammar, and his 


humility would not permit him to fall into the 
track of a good old divine similarly situated, who, 
the writer was informed, on one occasion, desiring 
to impress his audience with the belief that he 
knew more than he did, expounded his text in this 
wise: " My hearers, godliness is the past participle 
of the verb God." 

Mr. Grinnell had, however, from his childhood, a 
great taste for reading, which he gratified by bor- 
rowing books, whenever he could get them. These 
he would study by firelight, frequently placing his 
hair in jeopardy by its proximity to a dying ember. 
It used to be a common remark of his father: 
" That 'Otis is always a borrowing books." 

After settling in the ministry, he attended school 
for three weeks, for the purpose of gaining some 
knowledge of grammar. What improvement he 
has made since, has been by hard labor, while 
others slept, as he has raised a large family upon a 
very humble salary. But he is well aware that the 
growing intelligence of society, makes it more and 
more advisable, that the ministry should not fall be- 
low the average standard of intelligence in the 
community they instruct. 

In 1819, he was regularly ordained to the work 
of the ministry. In 1820, he married Miss Abigail 
Osborne, of Harpersfield; but, two years afterward, 
she died. He subsequently married Esther Blain, 
with whom he removed to Paterson, New Jersey. 
In 1835, his second companion died. He after- 
wards took a third wife, and in 1838, removed to 
New York city, when he became pastor of the 
Broome (now Cannon) Street church. In 1842, on 
account of his impaired health, he removed to El- 
mira, Chemung county, New York, where he still 
resides. He has thirteen children now living, six 
of whom have made a creditable profession of faith. 
His eldest son is in the senior class at Hamilton uni 


Mr. Grirmell has always been a laborious worker 
in the ministry, having, at the lowest calculation, 
preached between six and seven thousand sermons. 
He has also had the pleasure of baptizing, on a pub- 
lic profession of their faith, more than seven hun- 
dred persons, seven of whom are now preaching the 
gospel. He is now in his fifty-second year. He 
has always had to contend with a delicate consti- 
tution, suffering much from " dyspepsia," that 
"thorn in the flesh," of so many gifted men, who 
suffer their professional duties to intrude upon 
the hours which ought to be devoted to bodily ex- 

Well might a learned physician observe : "I 
know not which is the most necessary to the hu- 
man frame, food or motion." Were the exercise of 
its body attended to in a corresponding degree with 
that of the mind, men of great learning would be 
more healthy and vigorous — of more general talents 
—of more ample practical knowledge — happier in 
their domestic lives — more enterprising and atten- 
tive to their duties as men. In fine, it may with 
propriety be said, that the highest refinement of 
the mind, without improvement of the body, can 
never present any thing more than half a human 

Owing to the very small amount of his surplus 
funds, Mr. Grinnell has had but small chance of 
procuring books — the need of which he has often 
felt. But, by adopting a resolution to lay by a cer- 
tain portion of his marriage fees for this purpose, 
he has, in twenty years, managed to obtain about 
three hundred volumes. 

He possesses a full, rich voice, and his personal 
appearance is prepossessing. Although very popu- 
lar as a preacher, there is nothing of stage effect in 
his eloquence — no imposing attributes or gestures — - 
no extremes of intonation. His sermons are " sim- 
ple nature, the eloquence of truth, spoken in love." 



The " most chaste, original, nervous and elegant 
lyric poet of the day," was born at Cummington, 
Massachusetts, on the 3d of November, 17 ( .)4. His 
father was a physician, in humble circumstances, 
but a man of fine literary taste. William exhibit- 
ing early indications of superior talent, was care- 
fully instructed in the art of composition. His 
poetic productions, at a very early age, were nume- 
rous, and exhibited a peculiar freshness and beauty. 
After remaining at Williams' college two years, at 
his solicitation, he received an honorable dismission. 
He then studied law in the office of Mr. Justin 
Howe, and afterwards with the Hon. W. Baylies. 
In 1815 he was admitted to practice, which he did 
at Plymouth, Massachusetts, until 1825, when, 
having married, he removed to his present abode 
in the city of New York. He has spent a consider- 
able time abroad with his family, visiting nearly 
every remarkable place in Europe. He is now the 
well known editor of the New York Evening Post. 
He has by no means, however, entirely deserted 
Elysium and Arcadia for the forum and the caucus 
room, as ever and anon, gems are still dropping 
from his pen. 

On the 6th of May, 1847, Mrs. Sarah Bryant, the 
mother of our poet, and of other sons, whose merit 
and reputation reflect honor upon their parentage, 
died at Princeton, Illinois. She was born in Ply- 
mouth county, Massachusetts; a part of our country 
where the vigorous virtues are hereditary. Re- 
moving in early life with her parents to a remote 
part of her native state, she and her kindred car- 
ried with them, in their habits and principles, the 
elements of that high morality which distinguished 
their ancestry. 



The Rev. S. B. Brittan was born at Phillipston, 
Massachusetts, on the 13th of August, 1815. By a 
series of misfortunes, his father soon afterwards be- 
came embarrased in his circumstances, and at the 
tender age of seven years, the subject of our memoir 
was forced by an imperious necessity, to leave the 
family circle for a home among strangers. None 
but those who have suffered under similar circum- 
stances, can measure the agony of a little boy on 
thus quitting the "warm fireside circle of love" for 
a dwelling where the sunshine of affection shines 
not, and where 

When the kiss of love goes round 
There is no kiss for him. 

Who, it has been asked, can gaze upon a young 
and inexperienced being thus entering upon the 
thorny path of life — who, with a knowledge of all 
that experience teaches, the disappointments, the 
sorrows, the anxieties, the pangs, the agonies that 
await mortal man upon his strange career, can 
watch the young lie sleeping, all unconscious of 
the evil to come, and not feel sad at heart to think, 
that in such a bitter school they must learn the 
great lessons that prepare for immortality ! 

But dry thine infant tears, and still the throbbings 
of thy little heart, for spirit watchers are around 
thee, and He who was once a little child like thee, 
will temper the wind to the shorn lamb. 

At the age of fifteen Mr. Brittan was apprenticed 
to a carriage maker. Finding this business entirely 
unsuited to his taste, he, after remaining at it two 
years, resolved to seek a more congenial occupation. 
Accordingly he bid adieu to New England, and re- 
moved to Brooklyn, New York. At that place he 


was soon engaged in a business which he thought 
presented a more nattering prospect of success, but 
he soon discovered that manufacturing of any kind 
had no attractions for him. He felt an irresistible 
inclination to seek the retirement of the study, and 
determined, if possible, to prepare for the ministerial 
office. Being now about to enter upon a new 
sphere of thought and action, and as his advantages 
in early life were very limited, it became necessary 
at this period, to subject himself to a severe and 
protracted course of mental discipline. He obtained 
a situation as teacher in an English school, in which 
capacity he continued for several years, pursuing 
his studies in private at the same time. 

In the autumn of 1840, he was taken into fellow- 
ship as a Christian minister by the New York Asso- 
ciation of Universalists, and in August, 1841, re- 
ceived ordination. At the same time he became 
pastor of the Universalist society at Danbury, Con- 
necticut, where he remained until the spring of 
1843, when he accepted an invitation to the pastoral 
charge of the First Universalist society in Albany. 
On the following year, contrary to his own expect- 
ation and the unanimous desire of his people, he 
was led by a train of circumstances, over which he 
had no control, to settle in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 
where he remained two years. During this term, 
a large and intelligent society and congregation were 
gathered, and an elegant church edifice erected. 
The circumstances which had required his removal 
from Albany having now changed, he was, by the 
repeated and earnest solicitations of many friends, 
induced to return to that city, where, in May, 1846, 
he resumed his labors. 

In May, 1847, at the solicitation of many who 
listened to them as they were originally delivered, 
Mr. Brittan published a volume of his discourses 
under the title of the " One Great Idea." He is 
also the author of various other interesting works. 



The following account of this wonderful man, is 
condensed from that popular work, Beach's Book 
of Wealth: 

John Jacob Astor is classed, by those who know 
him best, not only among the richest, but also 
among- the truly great men of the world. The ta- 
lent which, in another age, and in another state of 
society, was exercised in the art of war, is now, to 
a great extent, engaged in the peaceful occupations 
of the counting room. War has been a great field 
for the development of great talents. But commerce 
affords scope for a greater variety of talent, and is a 
field- on which the most gigantic genius, and the 
most soaring ambition may expend themselves in 
unlimited conquests. In this department of human 
action, Astor has displayed a great mind. Landing 
on our shores as a common steerage passenger — a 
poor, uneducated boy — a stranger to the language 
and the people — he has, by the sole aid of his own 
industry, accumulated a fortune scarcely second to 
that of any individual on the globe, and has exe- 
cuted projects that have become identified with the 
history of his country, and which will perpetuate 
his name to the latest age. 

He was born in July, 1763, in the village of Wal- 
dorf, near Heidelberg, in the duchy of Baden, Ger-' 
many. His father was a very worthy man, and 
held the office of bailiff. At the age of eighteen, 
young Astor, on the eve of leaving his home for a 
foreign land, resolved to be honest and industrious, 
and never to gamble. In March, 1784, he landed in 
this country, a steerage passenger, having sailed 
from London in November, and been detained by 
the ice three months. The ship in which he had 


taken passage was commanded by Captain Stout, 
father to the present president of the Eagle Insur- 
ance company. On one occasion young Astor ven- 
tured beyond the limits assigned to the steerage pas- 
sengers, and appeared on the quarter-deck. Capt. 
Stout, observing it, came up, and in a very peremp- 
tory manner, asked him how he dared to intrude 
there ! ordering him instantly to retire ! This poor 
steerage passenger is now the richest individual in 
the western hemisphere, and can look down upon 
those who then held him in so much contempt. 
On his voyage he became acquainted with a fellow 
countryman of his, a farrier, who induced Mr. As- 
tor to learn this art. The main portion of Mr. As- 
tor' s property at this time consisted of seven flutes 
from his brother's manufactory, at London, which, 
with a few other articles of merchandize, he sold, 
and invested the small proceeds in furs, and com- 
menced learning the fur-trade. He was soon after 
engaged as clerk in the fur establishment of Robert 
Bowne, a good old Quaker, who prized Mr. Astor 
very much, for his untiring industry and fidelity. 
Subsequently, by' the aid of his brother Harry, he 
engaged in business for himself, associated with the 
late Cornelius Heyer. Afterwards he became asso- 
ciated with Mr. Smith, the father of Gerrit Smith. 
At the close of the revolutionary war, Oswego, Nia- 
gara, Detroit, and other posts, being in possession 
of a foreign power, a serious embarrassment was 
thrown in the way of the fur trade. Soon after Mr. 
Astor entered into the business, in 1794-5, by a 
treaty these posts were surrendered, when, contem- 
plating the grand opportunity then offered to him, 
he said : " Now, I will make my fortune in the fur 
trade." His prediction was verified. Astor, with 
an industry and sagacity unparalleled, improved 
his opportunity, and after the lapse of six years, dur- 
ing the first year of the present century, he had 
amassed something like $250,000. By the natural 


course of accumulation, this sum, at the present 
time, would have amounted to $6,000,000 — but, in 
Mr. Astor's hands, it has increased to more than 
four times that amount. Nine years later, at the 
age of forty-five, Mr. Astor founded the American 
Fur company, for the purpose of competing with 
the powerful British associations, which were in a 
fair way to monopolize the traffic in furs through- 
out the northern and southwestern portions of our 

From the time of the establishment of the Ame- 
rican Fur company, Mr. Astor became largely en- 
gaged in commerce. His ships, freighted with furs 
for France, England, Germany and Russia — and 
with peltries, ginseng, and dollars, for China, now 
plowed every sea, to receive these products of the 
New World, and exchange them for the valuable 
commodities of the Old. 

Mr. Astor has vast tracts of land in Missouri, "Wis- 
consin, Iowa, and other parts of the west, the pros- 
pective value of which is very great. The greater 
portion of his property, however, is in real estate 
and mortgages in the city of New York. Could 
Mr. Astor's property be kept unbroken and under its 
present management, it would become the largest 
individual estate ever known on the globe. The 
estimates of the value of his property are various — 
those knowing his affairs best, placing it at 
$30,000,000 — and some as high even as $50,000,- 
000. His income, on a moderate estimate, must 
be $2,000,000 a year, or $166,000 a month; which 
is about $41,500 a week; $5,760 a day; $240 an 
hour, and $4 a minute. Mr. Astor has made a do- 
nation of $350,000 for a library in the city of New 
York, the interest of which is to be expended, in 
employing agents to purchase books, and in the 
erection of a building. Mr. Cogswell, late editor 
of the New York Review, is the agent and libra- 


Mr. Astor has two sons; one of his daughters be- 
came the Countess of Rumpff, and lately deceased, 
at Paris; another (deceased) was married to Mr. 
Bristed, an Englishman, author of a work on the 
Resources of America, and now a clergyman of 
Bristol, Rhode Island. 


Near the close of the last century, in the woods 
of New Hampshire, might have been seen a stern 
looking youth, in coarse attire, shouting to a yoke 
of oxen, or splitting wood in the farm yard. De- 
prived of all the advantages of education, and shut 
out from the world by a dense forest, how could it 
have been supposed that the voice of one so lowly, 
would ever echo in thunder tones of soul-chaining 
eloquence in the halls of congress, or that his saga- 
cious counsels in the cabinet, would entitle him to 
rank among the first statesmen of the world. Yet 
all this came to pass, and Daniel Webster, by his 
indomitable energy, and untiring perseverance, 
worked his way from the plow to the senate cham- 

Mr. Webster was born at Salisbury, New Hamp- 
shire, at the head of the Merrimack river, on the 
18th of January, 1782. His father was at one pe- 
riod an officer of the revolution, and for many years 
judge of the court of common pleas. Like his son, 
he was a man of strongly marked character, full of 
decision, integrity, firmness and good sense. 



Was born at Washington, North Carolina, Octo- 
ber, 1786. His grandfather was Churchill Caldom, 
.whose father came from Scotland, and settled on 
the Pamlico river, about the year J 700. His ma- 
ternal grandfather was Col. John Patten, a gallant 
officer in the revolutionary war; and who was in 
the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Mon- 
mouth. He was made prisoner at the capitulation 
of Charleston, and remained on parole till the end 
of the war. 

Mr. Cambreleng, by the death of his father, was 
left an orphan at an early age, and the straightened 
circumstances of his family, occasioned by the long 
absence from home of his grandfather, deprived 
him of the advantage of a classical education, and 
before the age of twelve he was compelled to leave 
the academy at which his first rudiments of instruc- 
tion had been acquired. This deficiency, however, 
has since been well supplied by the native energies 
of a remarkably vigorous and observing mind, by 
self-cultivation and by extensive traveling, both at 
home and abroad. 

In 1800, at the age of fourteen, he was placed in 
the store of a merchant, with whom he remained, in 
New York, till 1802. The ill success which attended 
his present employer, caused him to return to North 
Carolina, in 1^05, where he found almost all his old 
school companions engaged in a life of dissipation, 
which soon naturally attracted rjini within its 
round. After a few months, however, he broke 
from its spell of wild and careless pleasure, and re- 
turned to prosecute his fortunes by his unaided ex- 
ertions, in New York. Unfortunately, however, for 
the young adventurer, he was detained a fortnight 


before be could embark at Ocracock tar, by the end 
of which time the gambling table, which was the 
constant place of amusement of the young men of 
that day and section, had despoiled him of the last 
penny of his little outfit, with which his mother 
had been able to launch him forth on the career of 
his fortune. On landing at New York, accident 
threw him in the way of a kindly and shrewd old 
Scotch merchant, who invited him to his house, 
and gave him temporary employment; until such 
time as a more suitable opening in life should pre- 
sent itself. It was not long before, in 1 806, he was 
engaged as clerk by an eminent merchant named 
Clark, at Providence, Rhode Island, who was large- 
ly concerned in the northwest coast trade of the 
Pacific ocean. 

At the termination of his employment at Provi- 
dence, he returned again to New York, where, for 
several years, he was engaged as a merchant, in the 
commission business. This he relinquished, in 
1819, to undertake the agency of a large cotton 
speculation, in New Orleans, which had been pro- 
jected by some enterprising merchants in the form- 
er city. The declaration of war, in June, however, 
defeating the speculation, he returned to New York 
by land, through the Indian territory, encountering 
many hardships, and escaping from imminent dan- 
gers. v\t that period commenced his connection 
with Mr. Astor, with whom his most important 
commercial transactions were had, and who, one 
of the most acute judges of men, always reposed an 
important confidence in Mr. Cambreleng, entrust- 
ing many important commissions of business to his 

When the Russian mediation between the Unit- 
ed States and Great Britain was proposed, in 1813, 
Mr. Astor projected a speculation to a large amount 
in Canton, and proposed to establish a permanent 
agency there, in connection with his settlement at 


the mouth of the Columbia river. Mr. Cambreleng 
was selected by Mr. Astor to execute this important 
commercial enterprise, and went to Europe to await 
the result of the negotiation, under the Russian 

Soon after the dreadful battle of Leipsic, Mr. 
Cambreleng commenced his journey to Sweden, 
through Pomerania to Berlin, (then filled with 
wounded,) Potsdam, Dessau and Leipsic. From 
thence he followed the route of the allied army to 
Frankfort on the Maine, to Basle in Switzerland, 
and thence to within sixty miles of Paris. It was 
a journey full of interest and adventure, affording 
not only an opportunity of seeing the civilized sol- 
diers of Europe, but the Cossack, Calmuc, Bashkin, 
and Tartar. He was frequently in the neighborhood 
of unimportant skirmishes and battles, and met 
occasionally bodies of prisoners returning on the 
snow, at the point of the bayonet, it being mid 
winter and the ground covered with snow. After 
much delay and difficulty, he with two companions 
reached the head quarters of the allied army at a 
village about fifteen miles from Troyes, but only as 
the army was leaving there for Bar-sur-Seine. The 
advanced guard of the army was engaged on the 
turnpike leading to Troyes, and there was much 
consternation among the allies, at the report that 
Napoleon had thrown himself into that place at the 
head of an army of 200,000 men. Mr. Cambreleng 
and his companions also started for Bar-sur-Seine, 
but had not only to pass over one of the terrible 
cross roads of France in the middle of winter, but 
to follow in the train of more than a thousand can- 
non and baggage wagons. They reached Bar-sur- 
Seine at nine o'clock at night, after having travelled 
the distance of nine miles in as many hours. In 
addition to their other troubles, they were quartered 
in a house with a German prince and his attend- 
ants, who had taken possession of every room, and 


all the eatables into the bargain. The travellers 
had to sleep in the same room as the master of the 
house, his wife, children and servants. The host, 
however, on learning that they were Americans, 
opened a secret closet and gave them some food, 
together with a bottle of Burgundy. From thence, 
Mr. Cambreleng reached Chatillon, where was as- 
sembled the congress of ministers, which was the 
object of his destination. 

The negotiations for peace were delayed much 
longer than was anticipated, so that he was detained 
in Europe more than a year. His time, however, 
was not unemployed. He visited Sweden, Prussia, 
Silesia, Bohemia, Germany, Switzerland, France, 
Holland, and England. Despairing of an early and 
pacific termination of the treaty of Ghent, he re- 
turned in the Hannibal to New York in 1814. In 
1815, he again visited France, Italy and Asia Minor. 
On his return he commenced business in New York, 
which after a few years terminated unsuccessfully. 
In 1825, he made a tour through England, Ireland, 
Scotland, and Wales. His life has thus been an 
adventurous and roving one, replete with striking 
incident and romantic adventure, for which, as well 
as for scenery, and the novelty of travel, he has 
always had a strong passion. Though his career 
was commercial, Mr. Cambreleng has always been 
a zealous politician, and a uniform advocate of de- 
mocratic principles. He had not long been settled 
in New York before he took an active part in poli- 
tics. In 1821, he was nominated for congress, and 
was elected by a large majority. The seat thus 
obtained, he preserved until the fall of 1838. He 
thus continued a member of congress for eighteen 
years consecutively, and the responsible stations he 
occupied while there, need not be enumerated. 

While travelling in Europe in 1840, he was ap- 
pointed minister to Russia, but after the inaugura- 
tion of General Harrison in 1841, he tendered his 


resignation. Since his return, he was elected a 
member of the recent convention for revising- the 
constitution of the state of New York. He is at 
present residing on his beautiful farm on Long 

The history of Mr. Cambreleng cannot but be 
interesting to the young men of our country, who 
may believe that the want of a classical education 
is an indispensable bar to arriving at distinction. 
Had he not by the force of circumstances, been 
compelled to leave school at the age of twelve, the 
chances are a hundred to one, that his history might 
have been comprised in the following lines of the 

There was a man, was born and cried 
And then — what then ? — he died. 


In Hanover county, Virginia, on the 12th of April, 
1777, was born a boy, who, early deprived of his 
father, was left to buffet with the world. But this 
boy, by his native talent and dauntless perseverance, 
overcame innumerable difficulties, and steadily ad- 
vanced, step by step, until his fame, as a jurist and 
statesman, has travelled through the world. Who 
could have supposed that a poor, fatherless youth, 
by his own efforts, would have thus risen from 
obscurity to be the candidate of a powerful party, 
for the highest station in the United States. Yet 
this was accomplished by Henry Clay! 

For nearly half a century has his name been a 
" familiar word," and his history is inseparably in- 
tertwined with that of his country. 



This distinguished editor of one of the most re- 
spectable, and widely circulated daily newspapers 
in the Union, says the American Phrenological 
Journal, was born at Amherst, New Hampshire, 
February 3, 1811, and is the oldest survivor of seven 
children; two having died before his birth. A bro- 
ther and three sisters are still living. His father 
and mother, who still survive, and now reside in 
Erie county, Pennsylania, were both born a few 
miles eastward of Amherst; the latter in London- 
derry, of Scotch-Irish lineage (her maiden name 
Woodburn) ; the former, in that town, or Pelham, 
of English extraction; but both families had long 
been settled in that region — the Woodburns since 
1723. All his ancestors, so far as there exists any 
remembrance,* were farmers — the Greeleys, gene- 
rally, poor ones; the Woodburns, in comfortable 
circumstances, having been allotted a good tract 
of one hundred and twenty acres in the first settle- 
ment of Londonderry, which still remains in the 
family, the property of an uncle of the subject of 
this sketch, who, when not quite three years of age, 
was taken to spend the winter thereon, in the fami- 
ly of his maternal grandfather, with whom he was 
early a favorite. After the novelty of his visit had 
worn off, he was sent to the district school, a few 
rods off, rather to diminish the trouble of looking 
after him in a large family of grown persons, than 
in the hope of his learning any thing. But he had 
already been taught the alphabet, and the rapidity 
with which he passed from this to the first class in 
reading and spelling, is still a matter of vivid local 
remembrance, and even fabulous exaggeration. At 
four years of age, he could read and spell credita- 


bly; at five, he was esteemed at least equal, in 
those branches, to any one attending the school. 
He continued at his grandfather's during most of 
the school months — usually six in each year — until 
six years old, the school in his father's district be- 
ing two miles from the family dwelling. But he 
evinced no such faculty for learning higher branches. 
Grammar, commenced at five, was not fairly com- 
prehended until eight, nor mastered until some time 
later; in geography proper (the relation of places to 
each other) he was not proficient, though the histo- 
rical and other statistics intermingled therewith 
were easily and rapidly assimilated ; penmanship 
utterly defied all his exertions; and it was only 
when he came, some years later, to take up the ele- 
mental arithmetic of the common schools, that he 
found himself able to press forward with his infan- 
tile celerity. He could not remember the time 
when he had not the multiplication table at com- 
mand, and all the processes of school arithmetic 
seemed but obvious applications of, or deductions 
from, this. But his school days in summer ended 
with his seventh year, and in winter with his four- 
teenth; being much interrupted at earlier periods 
by the necessities of a life of poverty and labor. He 
never enjoyed the benefits of a day's teaching in 
any other than a rural common school, generally 
of two to four months each winter and summer, and 
these very far inferior to the schools of the present 
day, even in the least favored sections of New York 
or New England. 

When not quite ten years of age. his father lost 
his little property in New Hampshire, and removed 
to Westhaven, Vermont, near the head of Lake 
Champlain, where he remained nearly six years. 
The first two were employed in land-clearing, on 
contract, with the aid of his two sons; the next, in 
a saw mill, while the boys worked on a small, poor 
farm; the residue, in clearing, and farming upon 


shares. Daring these, as before, our subject was 
favored with the loan of books and periodicals, by- 
neighbors of ampler resources, and devoted very 
much of his spare time to reading, especially in the 
winter evenings, when the labors of the long days 
of summer, which so severely tax the sinews of a 
youth of ten or twelve years, had been succeeded 
by shorter days and lighter tasks. 

At eleven years of age he made his first attempt, 
at Whitehall, New York, to find employment as an 
apprentice to the printing business, which he had 
previously decided to follow as a vocation, bat was 
rejected on account of his youth. Afterward, he 
could with difficulty be spared. When fifteen, 
however, his father found himself enabled to make 
a long meditated tour of observation westward, 
with a view to the removal of his family; and now 
the eldest son was permitted to gratify the cherish- 
ed desire of his heart, by entering, on the 18th of 
April, 1826, as an apprentice, the printing office of 
the Northern Spectator, at East Poultney, Rutland 
county, Vermont. Here he remained more than 
four years, until late in June, 1830, when the paper 
was discontinued. Meantime, his father and fami- 
ly had removed, in the fall of 1826, to Wayne, Erie 
county, Pennsylvania, where he visited them in 
1827, and 1829, and whither he repaired, on quitting 
Poultney, in 1830. Working by spells on their rude 
wilderness farm, and, when opportunity offered, at 
his trade, in Jamestown and Lodi, New York, and 
in Erie, Pennsylvania, he remained in that region 
a little more than a year, finally quitting it, when 
work ran out, about the first of August, 1831, for 
New York, where he arrived on the 16th of that 
month, and has ever since resided. He worked as 
a journeyman during the first year and a half of his 
stay, with some unavoidable interruptions, through 
want of employment, until early in 1833, when, in 
connection with another young printer, he pur- 


chased materials, and undertook the printing of a 
cheap daily newspaper, for a man who failed soon 
afterward. Other printing was soon procured, less 
promising, but better paid. His first partner was 
suddenly taken away by drowning, in July; ano- 
ther took his place. The concern was moderately 
prosperous; and in the following spring, March 22, 
1834, our subject issued, without subscribers, and 
almost without friends, in a city where he was 
hardly known beyond the circle of his boarding 
house and his small business, the first number of 
The New Yorker, a weekly journal, devoted to popu- 
lar literature, and an impartial summary of trans- 
piring events. That paper was continued through 
seven years and a half, having a circulation which 
rose, at one time, to over nine thousand. It ave- 
raged more than five thousand throughout, but was 
never pecuniarily profitable, owing, in good part, to 
bad management in the publishing department. In 
September, 1841, it was merged in the weekly is- 
sue of The New York Tribune, started as a daily 
on the 10th of April, in that year, and still con- 
tinued under his editorial management. 

He was married in July, 1836, to Mary Y. Che- 
ney, of Litchfield, Connecticut. They have had 
four children, of whom only the third survives. Our 
subject renounced the use of intoxicating beverages 
in his fourteenth year, and of tea and coffe in his 
twenty-seventh. In his twenty-ninth he became an 
advocate of those ideas of social reorganization, or 
comprehensive renovation of society and industry, 
known among their advocates as Association, and 
by their opponents as Fourierism, to which his en- 
ergies are stiJl devoted, so far as the unremitting 
duties devolving on the editor of a political daily 
will permit. He is now, of course, in his thirty- 
eighth year, slender in frame and stooping in gait, 
and, in spite of the incessant cares and unseasona- 
ble labors of his vocation, enjoys average health. 



The family of Croswell* came from Great Britain, 
previous to the revolution. The Rev. Andrew Cros- 
well, whose sermons are preserved in print, came 
over early in the eighteenth century. Caleb Cros- 
well, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this 
sketch, was born at Charlestown, Massachusetts; 
and the spot on which the Charlestown convent was 
built, and subsequently burned, near Boston, was 
once in possession of the family. 

Caleb resided near Hartford, in the state of 
Connecticut, and married there. The issue were 
five sons and two daughters. The sons, Thomas 
O'Hara, Mackay, Caleb, Harry, and Archibald, re- 
moved to this state about the year 1790. They all 
established themselves at Catskill, on the Hudson. 
The eldest, Dr. Thos. O'H. Croswell, continued in 
the practice of his profession until his death, in 
1844, greatly beloved by the community among 
whom he had passed the greater part of his life. 
He held the office of postmaster of that place, by 
the common consent and desire of the inhabitants, 
from the organization of the office, under a com- 
mission from Gen. Washington, to the period of his 
death. Mackay commenced the publication of the 
Catskill Packet, in 1792, then the only paper, ex- 
cept one at Poughkeepsie, between the cities of New 
York and Albany, and one of the six or seven that 
had then an existence in the state. He retired in 
1820, and died in 1847. Caleb died in 1803, in 
Connecticut, on the same night that the mother of 
Edwin Croswell expired at Catskill. Harry, now 
the Rev. Dr. Croswell, established the Balance, at 
Hudson, a paper of high excellence and wide circu- 
lation, and distinguished for its wit and cleverness. 


He removed to Albany in 1809, and after conduct- 
ing a paper there for three years, retired from the 
field of politics, fitted for the ministry, took orders, 
and, for the last thirty-five years, has discharged, 
with eminent fidelity and ability, as an ambassador 
of Christ, the duties of rector of Trinity church, in 
New Haven, Connecticut. His sons, now living, 
are the Rev. Wm. Croswell, rector of the Church 
of the Advent ; Sherman Croswell, associate editor 
and proprietor of the Albany Argus; and Frederick 
Croswell, now in business in New Haven, Connecti- 
cut, and before the people of that state as the de- 
mocratic candidate for comptroller. Archibald, the 
youngest of the five sons of Caleb Croswell, is a 
resident of Schoharie county, and for many years 
has been engaged in extensive manufacturing pur- 
suits there. 

Edwin Croswell, the subject of this sketch, the 
eldest son of Mackay Croswell, was born at an 
eventful era in the political world, 1798. His ma- 
ternal grandmother was a Shethar, a New England 
matron, imbued with all the spirit of the revolution, 
under whose charge he was placed after the death 
of his mother. Her eldest son, Capt. John Shethar, 
was an officer in the active service of his country, 
and received the approval and confidence of Gen. 
Washington during the whole of that war. His 
academic instruction was under the charge of the 
late Rev. Dr. Reed, and he pursued classical studies 
under the Rev. J. M. Peck, but never entered col- 
lege. His first efforts for the newspaper press, were 
in his fourteenth year, during the firs^t year of the 
war of 1812, in favor of which he, at that early age, 
took an active part, encouraged to act, not only by 
his father, but by his friend and guide, the late Mo- 
ses I. Cantine, brother-in-law of Mr. Van Buren. 
Before he was of legal age, he entered upon the 
editorial charge, with his father, of the Catskill Re- 
corder, a journal which had vigorously sustained 


the war, and subsequently the principles and mea- 
sures of the democratic party, and had attained 
considerable celebrity and a wide circulation. In 
January, 1823, he was invited, on the death of 
Judge Cantine, to the editorial charge of the Albany 
Argus, and was at once, and nearly unanimously, 
appointed state printer, with Isaac Q. Leake. He 
declined, however, to take an interest in the estab- 
lishment, and gave his services for the benefit 
of the widow of Judge Cantine. In 1824, Mr. 
Leake retired from the concern, and Mr. Croswell 
was appointed state printer, being associated with 
the late O. H. Van Benthuysen in the ownership of 
the paper, and in the public printing. In that year 
he married Catharine, eldest daughter of John Ad- 
ams, Esq., of Catskill, counsellor at law, and repre- 
sentative from the Greene and Delaware district, in 
the twenty-third congress. Prior to the retirement 
of Mr. Van Benthuysen, Sherman Croswell, a capa- 
ble writer, and one of the best reporters in this 
country, was associated in the management of the 
paper. In 1840, the change of parties resulted in 
the removal of Mr. Croswell. In 1843, on the re- 
storation of the ascendancy of the democratic party, 
he was reelected state printer, and under the act of 
1846, continues in official charge of the state 

Appointed at the age of twenty-five, state printer, 
and having, for the last twenty-four years, conduct- 
ed the leading organ of the dominant party in the 
state of New York, with distinguished ability and 
vigor, Mr. Croswell has justly acquired high promi- 
nence of position as a writer and politician. For 
tact, sagacity, resources, experience, and all the 
qualities which go to constitute a party leader, Mr. 
Croswell has few, if any, superiors in the United 
States, as the almost uninterrupted series of demo- 
cratic triumphs which have marked the history of 
parties in New York, incontestibly prove. What- 


ever may be the differences of political views, it is 
conceded on all hands that the Albany Argus has 
sustained, under his charge, during all the last 
quarter of a century, a high reputation for talent 
and for political influence. Of that famous ideal or 
real body known as the " Albany Regency," he is 
the only survivor resident in that city— most of his 
colleagues, indeed, except Gov. Marcy, now the dis- 
tinguished secretary of war, and the Hon. B. F. 
Butler, district-attorney for the southern district of 
New York, being dead, or having gone into retire- 

Mr. Hammond, in his "Political History of New 
York," in 1840, speaks of Mr. Croswell, as follows: 

" As a political party editor, he has few, if any, 
superiors in the United States. His paper has been, 
as perhaps it ought to have been, considering the 
position he occupied in relation to the democratic 
party, uniformly the organ of the principles and 
views of the majority of that party. Always cool, 
self-collected, sagacious and cautious, he has sel- 
dom, if ever, allowed himself to be guilty of any in- 
discretions; and, generally courteous -in his lan- 
guage, he has never attacked individuals unless 
their public and political conduct rendered them 
fair subjects of animadversion. His style of writing 
is more highly polished than that of most of the 
American newspaper editors. Indeed, it is some- 
what remarkable, that a man educated to practical 
and business pursuits, should have acquired so ac- 
curate and nice a literary taste, and so correct a 
style and manner of writing. Let his future politi- 
cal fate be what it may, his reputation as a news- 
paper editor of tact and talent, will always stand 
high — perhaps as high, at any rate on the score of 
tact, as any editor in the United States, excepting 
only Joseph Gales." 




The life of Mr. Beach, well known as the propri- 
etor of The New York Sun, the pioneer of the pen- 
ny press, while it presents no remarkable variety of 
changes or incidents, is attractive as tracing the 
steps of a determined man — one whose cheek never 
blanched in the darkest hour of adversity. The 
grandfather of Mr. B. was one of the small band of 
hardy settlers whose axes first made the woods re- 
sound on the spot where the beautiful village of 
Wallingford, Connecticut, now stands. The place 
received its name from one of their number, and 
when the father of our subject was a stripling of ten 
years old, in 1780, it could boast of only half a 
dozen log huts. Moses Beach (the grandfather) 
lived to a good old age, ranking among the highest 
and most wealthy men in the settlement, and when 
the desert gave place to the thriving village, he an- 
swered the call of nature, resigning his possessions 
to his eldest son, Moses Sperry Beach, with whom 
fortune played some pranks, reducing a large patri- 
mony to mere independence. Moses Sperry mar- 
ried Lucretia Yale, a niece of the celebrated Elihu 
Yale, founder of Yale college, and governor of the 
English East India company; but, though her con- 
nexions were all exceedingly wealthy, their "riches 
took wings" and went to parts untraceable. Of this 
couple, Moses Yale Beach, the subject of this me- 
moir was the first born, that event occurring Janu- 
ary 7th, 1800. When about six years old, himself 
and one brother and sister, four and five years his 
juniors, were left without the care of a mother by 
the hand of death, and as their father's business 
called him to Ohio, they were most of the time con- 
fided to the attentions of a step-mother. Moses 


was soon taught to do little chores, and at ten years 
old had the big ones on his hands too. At that 
time he did all the out door work, including the 
care of the horses and cattle, besides going daily 
nearly two miles to school, and yet found leisure 
time to exercise his mechanical ingenuity in the 
manufacture of play things for himself, his brother 
and sister, and for swapping with his school fellows. 
From four o'clock in the morning, until eleven at 
night, he was generally up and doing. At the age 
of fourteen, he was, at his own solicitation, bound 
an apprentice to a cabinet maker at Hartford, Con- 
necticut. His industry excited the attention of his 
master, who was a close man, but who finally made 
a bargain with him, by which he was allowed two 
cents per hour for extra work. Mr. B. says he never 
was more overjoyed at success in any thing, than 
when that bargain was made. Early and late he 
worked, and the pennies began to count, until final- 
ly he made a bargain for the balance of his time, 
after he should attain his eighteenth year. For his 
freedom at that time, he was to give $400. The 
arrangement gave him new life, and when the time 
came around, he had saved between $100 and $200, 
in addition, with which to commence life. He then 
removed to Northampton, Massachusetts, where, af- 
ter working some time as a journeyman, he entered 
into business with another young man, named 
Loveland. The cabinet work of Beach & Loveland 
was among the very best in the country — in testi- 
mony of which they received the first premium of 
the Franklin Institute — the sum of five dollars. 
While thus employed, under a fair sky, Mr. Beach 
married Nancy, daughter of Thomas and Mary Day, 
both direct descendants of the puritans, the latter 
of the Brewster family. His smooth sailing was 
soon interrupted by a storm, and after a long and 
obstinate resistance, his bark capsized. Separating 
from his partner, he immediately removed to Spring- 


field, and, after repeated endeavors, he established 
himself in a fair business. Building a convenient 
residence with his first means, he settled himself at 
his fireside, with a young and already numerous 
family around him. His spirits and his ingenuity 
returned, and ere long he was almost entirely en- 
grossed in the manufacture of a "gun-powder en- 
gine'' for propelling balloons. In this he was par- 
tially successful ; but finding, from his model, that 
the weight of an engine of the requisite power was 
insurmountable, and seeing that his business was 
suffering, from the want of proper care, he aban- 
doned the project. He acted too late. Again he 
found himself in deep water. But, matching his 
strength against the current, he was finally success- 
ful in obtaining a new stand. Once more he plied 
his ingenuity, and this time produced a rag cutting 
machine, an article since adopted in every paper 
mill in the Union, if not in the world. The saving 
of labor in its use is enormous; but, like other in- 
ventors, generally, he failed to derive benefit from it. 
A paper maker in whose confidence he relied, made 
use of the ideas he suggested, to combat his origin- 
ality, so soon as it was presented, the result of which 
was beneficial to neither party. Mr. Beach, how- 
ever, removed to Ulster, or Saugerties, on the North 
river, where he became interested, with others, in 
an extensive paper mill. The rag cutter, and a new 
drying machine, were introduced, and for several 
years their efforts were crowned with the greatest 
possible success. Mr. Beach invested some in real 
estate, and erected a very pretty residence, devoting 
his time, night and day, almost exclusively to the 
interests of the concern. Six years passed thus, 
and the seventh brought changes and adversity 
again. The whole of his real estate and household 
furniture was sold to meet the demands of the cre- 
ditors of the mill; and in 1835, he removed with 
his family to New York, where he shortly after pur* 


chased the interest of Mr. Wisner in The Sun, on 
credit, for $5,200. In this he was attended by un- 
expected success, and, paying off the demands of 
Mr. W. in the course of the next year, he bargained 
with his partner, Mr. Day, for the remaining half 
interest, for $19,5 00. The first six months after he 
became entire owner of The Sun, it proved not so 
profitable as he had calculated upon, and he offered 
nearly all of his then property to have the bargain 
revoked; but not succeeding in that, he pushed on, 
and the tide turned. His principal competitor, The 
Transcript, gave up the field, and in less than two 
years from the purchase, the last dollar due for the 
establishment was paid up, and Mr. Beach once 
more could call himself independent. His career, 
since 1838, has been steadily upward — his ability 
and enterprize in the management of his newspaper 
have been proverbial, and, as a consequence, he has 
excited the malice of the envious, who found in 
him, from his public station, a mark at which they 
might send their venomous darts with impunity. 
But, with all this, there are very few, if any, who 
know him personally, and do not value him highly 
as a friend. 

His family, having suffered some diminution, now 
consists of one daughter and five sons, the latter of 
whom are all engaged with their father, some of 
them being also associated with him in business. 
Notwithstanding his severe loss, by the unwarrant- 
able closing up by the legislature of a banking in- 
stitution, in which he was the principal stockholder, 
he is now reputed to be worth two or three hundred 
thousand dollars, besides a newspaper establish- 
ment, free of incumbrance. The daily circulation 
of their paper is almost incredible — 50,000 copies 
per day — and the combined weekly issue from the 
establishment is not less than 400,000 sheets — a 
fruitful source for the accumulation of wealth. 



This gifted writer, who has thrown a lustre 
around the American name, which no time nor cir- 
cumstances can diminish, was born in Burlington 
county, New Jersey, on the 15th of September, 
1789. His family is one of the most ancient in 
the country, and can be traced back distinctly, to 
the early part of the seventeenth century. By the 
maternal side, his American pedigree is equally an- 
cient, springing from a Swedish stock, which 
dates from the first settlement of Delaware. At a 
very early period, his classical education, under a 
private tutor, was commenced ; and, at the age of 
ten, on the arrival of his father, Judge Cooper, at 
Cooperstown, where he had purchased a large es- 
tate, Fennimore was placed under the care of the 
Rev. Mr. Ellison, of Albany. He entered Yale col- 
lege, in 1802, where he remained until 1805; when 
he obtained a warrant as a midshipman of the navy. 
After six years afloat, during which time " he gave 
brilliant promise of future excellence," he resigned 
his office for other and less turbulent engagements. 
On the 1st of January, 1811, he married Miss De 
Lancey, a sister of the present bishop of the western 
'diocese of New York. After spending several years 
in different parts of Europe, he has now settled 
down upon his estate at Cooperstown. Of his writ- 
ings, it is scarcely necessary to speak. Who has 
not lingered with delight o'er his thrilling narra- 
tives ? and whose perceptions of the beautiful in na- 
ture, are not refined and strengthened by his de- 
lightful descriptions? 



Is a near relative of Gen. Aaron Ward. He was 
born at Sing Sing, Westchester county, New York, 
on the 15th of September, 1816. He is the son of 
Israel Ward, now deceased, who married a daugh- 
ter of the late John Rossel], of the same county 
Mr. Israel Ward died in 1820, when his son Elijah 
was just entering upon his fifth year, leaving but a 
scanty inheritance to his family. Young Ward was 
early sent to the village academy, where, pursuing 
only the ordinary English studies, he continued un- 
til his twelfth year. At that period he entered the 
store of Mr. Amos Dunning, a merchant of Sing 
Sing, in the capacity of clerk. He remained there 
for five years, during which time, without the as- 
sistance of a preceptor, he pursued a course of ge- 
neral reading and study. His employer was strong- 
ly attached to him, and their parting was a source 
of mutual regret. 

In the spring of 1833, with a firm resolution to 
rise by his own efforts, he removed to the city of 
New York. He was there employed as a clerk, by 
Messrs. Kibbin & Nicholls, jobbing merchants. He 
continued with them until the dissolution of the 
firm, in 1837, and subsequently with Mr. Kibbin 
alone. By these gentlemen, his business talents 
and amiable disposition were highly appreciated, 
and by their aid he became thoroughly conversant 
with mercantile transactions — a knowledge highly 
valuable to one who contemplated the practice of 
law. He also, during that period, by husbanding 
his spare minutes, became a good Latin scholar. 

In 1834, Mr. Ward became a member of the Li- 
terary association, an institution numbering among 
its members many young men now holding promi- 


nent positions in the national legislature. , In 1835, 
he was elected vice-president, and subsequently 
acted as president of the association. In 1837, he 
delivered the opening address before the Eclectic 
fraternity, of which body he was corresponding 
secretary. It was a highly creditable production. 
In 1838, while still a clerk, he attended the law 
school, at the New York university. In January, 
1839, after a hotly contested election, he was, by 
acclamation, elected vice-president of the New 
York Mercantile Library association. "When it is 
considered, that at that time there were over 5000 
members of this institution, many of whom were 
anxious for the office, the election of young Ward 
affords strong evidence of the estimation in which 
he was held. In the June following, on the resigna- 
tion of Mr. Winthrop, he was chosen president of 
the association. In December, 1839, owing to his 
contemplated change of business, to the regret of 
his numerous friends, he declined the offer of a re- 
nomination. His published annual report, upon 
his retirement from that office, secured him the re- 
putation of an able writer. 

In February, 1840, he entered, as a law student, 
the office of the Hon. W. W. Campbell, of New 
York city. In May, 1843, after the usual examina- 
tion, he was admitted to practice in the supreme 
court. He then became the law partner of Mr. 
Campbell, and continued as such until January, 

We believe Mr. Ward is a democrat; but, zeal- 
ously pursuing his legal studies, he has wisely and 
profitably steered clear of politics. He has neither 
sought nor desired political advancement. On the 
contrary, he has repeatedly resisted the wishes of 
his friends on that point ; believing, and justly too, 
that the bar, of itself, affords a sufficiently ample 
field for distinction. 

In the management of the important cases en- 


trusted to him, Mr. Ward has exhibited ability of 
no common order; and, should his life be spared, 
we will venture to prophecy that he will rank 
among the highest of his profession. 

Possessing a fine literary taste, he has, as a relax- 
ation from severer duties, contributed many inte- 
resting articles for the periodicals of the day, and 
which have received high commendation. Did our 
limits permit, we would gladly enumerate them. 
We will conclude by observing, that the success of 
Mr. Ward affords an additional illustration of the 
advantages resulting from self-reliance, industry 
and perseverance 


Was born at Lisbon, Newent society, near Nor- 
wich Connecticut, on the 25th of April, 1791. Na- 
than Hale, a native of Coventry, in that state, an 
uncle, was an officer in the American revolution, 
and graduated at Yale College, in 1773. In the 
war he commanded a company in Col. Knowlton's 
regiment, and was with the army in the retreat 
from Long Island, in 177n. Washington, having 
applied to Knowlton for a discreet and enterprizing 
officer to penetrate the enemy's camp, Hale was 
named, and readily volunteered for that dangerous 
service. He passed in disguise to the British camp, 
but on his return was apprehended and carried be- 
fore Lord Howe, by whom he was ordered for exe- 
cution the next morning. He was denied a Bible 
and the aid of a clergyman! The letters, full of forti- 
tude and resignation, which he had written to his 
mother and sister, were destroyed. He was hung, 


regretting that he had hut one life to lose for his 

The father of the subject of our sketch, was the 
pastor of the church at Lisbon; but, owing to ill 
health, when his son was thirteen years old, he re- 
moved to Coventry, where he purchased the pater- 
nal estate. 

In 1809, David went to Boston, where he became 
a merchant's apprentice. His untiring industry, 
punctuality, and strict integrity, soon won him the 
regard of his employer, who reposed unlimited con- 
fidence in him. At the expiration of his term of 
service, Mr. Hale commenced business on his own 

On several occasions, he wrote for the newspa- 
pers, on the subject of theatres, and against perma- 
nent funds for the support of religious and literary 
enterprizes. The vigorous style, and close reason- 
ing, displayed in those essays, attracted much at- 
tention, and caused considerable discussion, through 
the columns of the press, in various parts of the 

Arthur Tappan, having determined on establish- 
ing the New York Journal of Commerce, wrote to 
Boston, for a " business editor;" and the essays of 
Mr. Hale were the cause of an application being 
made to him, which he accepted. Messrs. Hale & 
Halleck are now the proprietors of that highly re- 
spectable paper, which, perhaps, ranks as high as 
any in the United States. 

Mr. Hale is, it is said, very wealthy, having ac- 
quired the whole of his property by patient indus- 
try. He is emphatically a working man. 




See that aged man, verging upon four score, with 
a countenance glowing with enthusiasm, expound- 
ing the constitution before the assembled wisdom 
of the nation ! The frail tenement of that body is 
near the point of dissolution, but the fires of the 
soul are still burning with undimmed brilliancy. 
Venerable patriarch ! connecting a past age of 
mighty events with the present, when will the last 
leaf be shaken from the flower-stem of thy life! 

John Quincy Adams was born on the 11th of 
July, 1767. At the age of eleven he was at school 
at Paris, where he received the paternal care of 
Franklin. In 1780, he was placed in the public 
school at Amsterdam, and afterwards in the Uni- 
versity of Leyden. At the age of fourteen, lie went 
as private secretary with Mr. Dean, then minister 
to Russia. In his eighteenth year, he returned to 
the United States, and in 1787 he received his de- 
gree of bachelor of arts, at Harvard University. 
Having studied law, and been admitted to the bar, 
he removed to Boston, where he was for four years 
engaged in the business of his profession. It was 
here that he wrote several of his best essays. He 
was subsequently selected by Washington, to be the 
American minister to the Netherlands; and from 
1794 to 1801, he was employed in diplomatic ser- 
vices. " One of the last official acts of Washington, 
was to appoint him minister to Portugal; but his 
destination was changed to Berlin, by his father, 
who had just succeeded to the presidency." On his 
return to the United States, he was elected to the 
national senate. In June, 1805, he was chosen pro- 
fessor of rhetoric and oratory in Harvard university. 
President Madison appointed him as minister to 



Russia, from whence he was transferred to Ghent, 
with Messrs. Clay, Gallatin, and Bayard, to nego- 
tiate a peace between the United States and Great 
Britain. He was afterwards appointed minister to 
England, where he remained until Mr. Munro's ac- 
cession to the presidency, by whom he was recalled 
to be secretary of state. After being eight years at 
the head of the cabinet, Mr. Adams was elected 
president of the United States. His presidential 
term expired in 1829, when for a brief period he re- 
tired to his native town of Quincy. In 1831, he 
was elected to the house of Representatives, of 
which body he has ever since been a member — 
never, during that long period, having been absent 
from his seat a single day, except from sickness. 
For nearly three score years has he kept a diary, 
which, it is presumed, embraces one of the best his- 
tories of the country that could possibly be written. 


The late Jacob Ridgway, of Philadelphia, was 
born in 1768. He was, in every sense of the word, 
a self-made man. In early life, he was a journey- 
man ship-carpenter. He was subsequently Ameri- 
can consul at Antwerp. He also resided for some 
time at Paris. The latter portion of his life was 
spent in Philadelphia, where he was a most useful 
citizen, being constantly engaged in enterprizes 
which gave employment to hundreds of mechanics. 
He built upwards of a hundred houses, and died 
worth at least six millions of dollars. Unlike many 
great capitalists, he never oppressed the poor labor- 
er, nor was his fortune cemented by the heart-drops 
of the orphan ^nd the widow. 



The Rev. Orville Dewey, D. D., one of the most 
celebrated ministers of the Unitarian church, was 
born at Sheffield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, 
on the 28th of March, 1794. He graduated at Wil- 
liams' college, and studied theology at Andover 
Theological seminary. The first ten years of his 
professional life were spent at Bedford, Massachu- 
setts, and the last ten principally in the city of New 
York, where he still labors as pastor of the Church 
of the Messiah. As a proof of the estimation in 
which his talents were held, it may be stated that 
on one occasion, during the temporary absence of 
the late Doctor Channing in Europe, Mr. Dewey, 
by request, occupied his pulpit. 

The reputation of Mr. Dewey as an author, is 
already so firmly established, that an elaborate 
criticism, either of his manner or style, would be a 
work of supererogation, and indeed, in the writer, 
one of much presumption. It will be sufficient to 
say, that his discourses abound in the purest and 
most exalted precepts, beautifully adapted to almost 
every condition of life, and replete with instruction, 
such as becomes the minister who himself feels 
that the religion he preaches is divine. 

His compositions are in no danger of being classed 
with those of a certain reverend gentleman, who 
having inadvertently preached one of his sermons 
for the third time, one of his parishioners having 
noticed it, said to him after service, " Doctor, the 
sermon you preached us this morning having had 
three several readings, I move that it now be 

The following extract from a sermon on " Human 
Greatness," which the writer heard Mr. Dewey 


deliver at Washington city, in 1847, and in which 
allusion was made to many scenes during his tra- 
vels abroad, will enable the reader to form some 
idea of his style. 

"I have seen the magnificence of all ceremonial 
in worship; and this was the thought (the grandeur 
of penitence) that struck me then. Permit me to 
describe the scene, and to express the thought that 
arose in my mind, as I gazed upon it. It was in 
the great cathedral church of the world; and it 
brings a kind of religious impression over my mind, 
to recall its awfulness and majesty. Above, far 
above me, rose a dome, gilded, and covered with 
mosaic pictures, and vast as the Pantheon of old 
Rome ; the pillars which supported it were as large 
as many of our churches; and the entire mass lifted 
to five times the height of this building; its own 
height swelling far beyond; no dome so sublime, 
but that of heaven, was ever spread before mortal 
eye. And lo ! again stretching away into dimness 
and obscurity, arches beyond arches, fretted with 
gold, and touched with the rays of the morning sun. 
Around me, a wilderness of marble! with colors as 
variegated and rich as our autumnal woods; co- 
lumns, pillars, altars, tombs, statues, pictures, set 
in ever during stone ; objects to strike the beholder 
with never ceasing wonder. And on this mighty 
pavement stood a multitude of many thousands; 
and through bright lines of soldierv, stretching far 
down the majestic aisle, slowly advanced a solemn 
and stately procession, clothed with purple, and 
crimson, and white, and blazing with rubies and 
diamonds. Slowly it advanced amidst kneeling 
crowds and strains of heavenly music ; and so it 
compassed about the altar of God, to perform the 
great commemorative rite of Christ's resurrection. 
Expect from me no sectarian deprecation ; it was a 
goodly rite, and fitly performed. But amidst solemn 
utterances and lowly prostrations, and pealing an- 


thems and rising incense, and all the surrounding 
magnificence of the scene, shall I tell you what 
was my thought — 'One sigh of contrition, one tear of 
repentance, one humble prayer to God, though breathed 
in a crypt of the darkest catacomb, is worth all the 
splendors of this gorgeous ceremonial, and this glorious 
temple? " 


This eminent jurist was born at Marblehead, 
Massachusetts, on the 18th of September, 1779. 
He graduated at Harvard college, and immediately 
afterwards commenced the study of the law. At 
the age of twenty-two he commenced the practice 
of his profession at Salem. Such was his high 
reputation, that three years afterwards he was elect- 
ed a member of the Massachusetts legislature, hi 
which body he remained several years, serving a 
considerable portion of the time as speaker. 

In 1809 he was elected a member of congress. 
In 1811, at the age of thirty-two, Mr. Story was 
appointed to fill the vacancy on the bench of the 
United States Supreme court, occasioned by the 
death of Judge Cushing. There is no previous in- 
stance, either in this country or in England, of so 
young a man being elevated to so high a judicial 
position. This office he held until the close of his 
life. He was probably one of the most industrious 
men of his age. He died at Cambridge, Massachu- 
setts, on the 10th of September, 1845, in the sixty- 
eighth year of his age. 



It has been beautifully said, that patriotism loves 
the pure air of the country. Her chosen home is 
the fresh hill side, and from the clear breeze of the 
mountain, she draws her aliment. By bubbling 
brooks, by verdant lawns, and in the quiet content- 
ment of pastoral life, she rests undisturbed by the 
wearying bustle and changing scenes of metropoli- 
tan existence. 

Gen. Griffin, whose life has suggested the above 
remarks, was born in the town of Stamford, Dela- 
ware county, New York, on the 14th of February, 
1804. This region of country is undoubtedly one 
of the most beautiful in the state, and the strong 
and vigorous intellects which it has sent forth to 
the battle field and to the senate, are not few. Here 
is the fountain of the Delaware, and its silver waters 
wind musically through the glen, with solemn 
murmurings "as though many spirits were whisper- 
ing about man." 

Until the age of nineteen, he worked upon the 
farm. He then spent four years in teaching. At 
the expiration of that time, he embarked in the 
mercantile business at Hobart, in his native county, 
and where he still continues to reside. 

In 1826 he was elected to the office of ensign in 
the eighty-seventh regiment of infantry. Having 
held all the intermediate offices, he was, on the 7th 
of April, 1837, elected brigadier-general of the twen- 
ty-fifth brigade of infantry, including seven different 
commissions in eleven years. 

Of his capacity as a military man, it is scarcely 
necessary to speak. A strict disciplinarian, and an 
enthusiastic lover of military science, he always 
retained the good will of those under his command. 


In 1842 he took his seat in the state legislature. 
While there, as chairman of the military commit- 
tee, he brought in a bill to amend the military law 
of the state, a reform in which had so long been 
desired. Among the amendments proposed, and 
which has since become a law, was one to furnish 
the uniform companies with arms from the state 
arsenal. In an eloquent and pointed speech, he 
urged the propriety of this distribution, on the 
ground that the arms had been purchased under 
an appropriation of congress in lb07, for the purpose 
of arming the militia of the United States. His 
bill, although attacked by the political journals of 
both parties at Albany, passed the house by a hand- 
some majority, but it was not reached by the senate. 

General Griffin was one of the few who voted to 
sustain the speaker of the house in his decision, 
declaring the appropriation of money for the geolo- 
gical survey of the state, required a two-third vote, 
inasmuch as the bill making the appropriation, pro- 
vided for the distribution of a part of the books among 
private individuals. The wisdom of this decision 
has been acknowledged by subsequent legislation. 

In 1844, General Griffin was a delegate to the 
Baltimore convention from the state of New York, 
and he voted for James K. Polk. 

During the unfortunate anti-rent troubles in 1845, 
in Delaware and the adjoining counties, General 
Griffin, on many occasions at the imminent peril 
of his life, took an active part in leading'bodies of 
men, for the suppression of the riotous proceedings 
of the misguided " Indians," which resulted in the 
death of Sheriff Steele. He, like many others, was 
in favor of applying a legislative remedy for the 
grievances complained of, although he could not 
sanction resistance to the authorities. 

Gen. Griffin is a respectable scholar. He is tall, 
and possesses a vigorous frame combined with an 
impulsive temperament. He is married. 



Was born in the town of Cummington, Hamp- 
shire county, Massachusetts, on the 7th of January, 
1795. His father, Jonathan Knapp, and mother, 
Perses Melvin, were natives of Massachusetts. The 
former, descended from the puritans, was born in 
Plymouth county, and moved thence to Cumming- 
ton, shortly after the revolutionary struggle, in. 
which he bore an active part, and continued to re- 
side there until his death. As an honest and in- 
dustrious farmer, he was much respected, and the 
duties of husband, father, neighbor and Christian, 
he discharged with fidelity and zeal. He died at a 
good old age, beloved by all who knew him. Per- 
ses, his wife, was originally from Concord, near 
Boston, her American ancestors having emigrated 
to this country from Scotland. 

Shepherd Knapp, the subject of this sketch, was 
the fifth son. His early years were spent on the 
farm, discharging such duties as children usually 
perform. His education was confined to the usual 
elementary branches, and as in the case of many 
other New England boys, it was acquired during 
the winter months, his time and labor being deem- 
ed too valuable to be spared from the farm at any 
other period. 

In the spring of 1612, at the age of seventeen, he 
came to the city of New York, where he entered 
the counting house of the late Gideon Lee, who 
formerly resided at Worthington, a town adjoining 
Cummington, and to whom the family of Mr. 
Knapp were well known. He continued with Mr. 
Lee, as clerk, until the spring of 1819, when he 
was taken by the latter into partnership. During 
his clerkship he had, by industry and frugality, ac- 


cumulated a considerable sum of money. In addi- 
tion to this, he had, by his devotion to business, ac- 
quired a character for sagacity and ability, of far 
greater value than his little store of wealth. 

In the spring of 1>20, Mr. Knapp was married to 
Miss Catharine Louisa Kumbel, daughter of Wil- 
liam Kumbel, a native of Niemried, Germany, who 
emigrated to New York before the war of the revo- 
lution, and where his descendants still continue to 

After his marriage, Mr. Knapp continued to de- 
vote himself zealously to his business, and knowing 
that " minutes are the gold dust of time," every 
hour had its appropriate duties. By the strict ob- 
servance of the rules which he adopted, he was 
now rapidly accumulating a fortune. 

The first act of his life which brought him promi- 
nently before the public, was the responsible part 
he took in the celebrated conspiracy trials in New 
York, in 1825. As a director of the Tradesman's 
bank, owing to certain suspicious movements, Mr. 
Knapp, in conjunction with Mr. Lee, his partner, 
and the late Elisha King, applied to the chancellor 
for an injunction against the bank, restraining the 
newly elected directors from making any more loans 
or discounts. This was a bold proceeding, and an 
assumption of great responsibility. In a few days, 
however, the wisdom and necessity of the measure 
became apparent. The particulars of the astound- 
ing disclosures which followed, the explosion of the 
Life and Fire Insurance company, with other insti- 
tutions similarly situated, involving in ruin and dis- 
grace hundreds of prominent citizens, and the pro- 
secutions which followed, may be found in the pa- 
pers of the day. 

In 1832, Mr. Knapp was appointed by the board 
of directors of the United States bank, director in 
their branch bank in the city of New York — he be- 
ing chosen as the representative of the hide and 


leather interest. He continued to discharge the du- 
ties of that station, until within a brief period of the 
winding up of the affairs of that institution. 

In 1837, Mr. Knapp was elected to the honorable 
position of president of the General Society of Me- 
chanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York, 
one of the most useful and influential societies of 
the state. In 1838, he was elected president of the 
Mechanics' Banking association, a new institution, 
just going into operation. He had, however, 
scarcely taken his seat at the board, when he was 
invited to the presidency of the Mechanics' bank, 
then vacated by the death of the late Jacob Loril- 
lard, who had a short time before been unanimous- 
ly chosen, in a moment of great peril to the bank, 
to undertake its extrication from embarrassment. 
While Mr. Lorillard was engaged in that laborious 
and vexatious task, his health failed, and he sur- 
vived but a few weeks, his death being caused by 
his great mental and physical exertions, on behalf 
of the bank. Mr. Knapp, succeeding to this post 
of labor and responsibility, successfully carried out 
what his predecessor had begun. The credit of the 
bank was revived, its usefulness restored, and, with 
Mr. Knapp still at its head, it ranks among the first 
in credit, influence and popular favor. 

On the withdrawal of Mr. Lee, in the spring of 
1839, Mr. Knapp, although a much younger man, 
also retired from active business, declining to con- 
tinue the house alone. He and his partner had 
made the bulk of their estate together, had always 
lived on the most intimate and confidential terms, 
and so continued up to the period of Mr. Lee's 

Mr. Knapp takes an active part in many of the 
public institutions of the city and state, in savings' 
banks, rail road and insurance companies. In the 
benevolent institutions of the city, he is most un- 
tiring and devoted, and with his means, have 


grown his charities. The elements of Mr. Knapp's 
character, spring from that source of all virtue — 
"truth without affectation." Not boasting of pro- 
found learning, and without pretension to any thing 
he does not possess, he has, by energy and perse- 
verance, risen to eminence and distinction. He is 
known and honored, for the kindness of his heart, 
liberality and devotion to the interests of the city 
and state; in addition to which, he possesses a 
sound judgment, and a large share of that valuable 
quality, so useful to the community, "common 


The annexed engraving was executed for this 
work, under the impression that the distinguished 
individual whom it represents, was an American 
citizen. This is an error, as he does not yet enjoy 
that honor. His portrait will, however, recall to 
many, recollections of the very courteous treatment 
they have received at his hands, during their offi- 
cial intercourse with him as British consul. He is, 
in the full sense of the word, an English gentleman. 
Although extremely tenacious of the rights of the 
country whose interests he represents, perhaps no 
man admires more ardently the peculiar beauty 
of American institutions. 

Mr. Barclay continues to reside in New York city; 
and his office being in Barclay street, has probably 
led to the erroneous statement that his ancestors 
were American, and that the street was named frorn 



Hard the labor, small the gain, 

Is there in making bread from brain. 

" Stand, O man ! upon the hill top — in the stillness 
of the evening hour — and gaze upon the glorious 
world around thee ! See, where the mists, soft and 
dim, rise over the green meadows, through which 
the rivulet steals its way ! See where, broadest and 
stillest, the wave expands to the full smile of the 
setting sun — and the willow that trembles on the 
breeze — and the oak that stands firm in the storm, 
are reflected back, peaceful both, from the clear 
glass of the tides ! See, where, begirt by the gold 
of the harvests, and backed by the pomp of a thou- 
sand groves — -the roofs of the town, bask, noiseless 
in the calm glow of the sky. Not a sound from 
those abodes floats in discord to thine ear — only 
from the church tower, soaring high above the rest, 
perhaps, faintly heard through the stillness, swells 
the note of the holy bell. Along the mead low 
skims the swallow — on the wave, the silver circlet, 
breaking into spray, shows the sport of the fish. 
See, the earth, how serene, though all eloquent of 
activity and life ! See the heavens, how benign, 
though dark clouds, by yon mountain, blend the 
purple with the gold !" How beautiful ! But see 
that keen, earnest-looking man, in the fourth story 
of a dingy building, with a pile of newspapers,piled 
around upon his desk ! While the glorious sun is 
rolling on his golden course, and the wind is waft- 
ing onward the winged ship, like an eagle, over the 
ocean, nature lying in gorgeous and most superb 
scenery, this man sits straining his eyes to search 
out food for the public mind. He is a slave, for he 
is an editor ! 


James Brooks, one of the most eminent, and the 
most industrious writers of the present day, was 
born at Portland, Maine, "in 1811. His father, who 
commanded a privateer during the last war with 
England, was lost, with his vessel, at sea, when the 
subject of this sketch was about four years of age. 
Hence, like many other self-taught men, he was 
thrown upon the world at a period when the ma- 
jority of youths first enter school. With an energy 
which nothing could damp, and a perseverance sel- 
dom, equalled, he conquered difficulties by attempt- 
ing them, and soon acquired a stock of knowledge 
which few other men, similarly situated, have ever 

Having previously edited several other papers, 
Mr. Brooks, with his brother, in 1836, started the 
New York Express; which paper, in conjunction 
with Mr. Townsend, the business editor, he still 

In 1841, Mr. Brooks married Miss Mary Ran 
dolph, of Virginia. 

" Brooks's Letters from Europe," in 1835, publish- 
ed in the Portland Advertiser, and copied into every 
paper in the Union, would of themselves place his 
name among the very front rank of writers. He 
was, in 1837, the competitor of Albert Smith, of 
Maine, for a seat in congress. We believe it was 
a tie vote, and on the second trial, the editorial du- 
ties of Mr. Brooks detaining him in New York, 
while his competitor was in the field during the 
whole canvass, the latter was victorious. 

Mr. Brooks was recently elected a member of the 
New York legislature. 



The late Judge Buel was born at Coventry, Con- 
necticut, on the 4th of January, 1778. Being the 
youngest of a family of fourteen children, he enjoyed 
few facilities for early education, never having had, 
during his entire life, more than six months' school- 
ing. He was brought up a printer, and passed a 
large portion of his active and useful life in super- 
intending the publication of various newspapers, 
commencing with the editing of the Troy Budget, 
and closing with that of the Albany Cultivator. It 
is, however, the agricultural labors and example of 
Judge Buel, that have rendered his life the common 
property of mankind. 

In the year 1821 he purchased a farm of eighty- 
five acres near the city of Albany, which then 
formed a part of what was appropriately termed 
the " Sandy Barrens." That part now called the 
" Albany Nursery," then lay an open common, un- 
improved, covered with bushes, and apparently 
doomed to everlasting sterility. These unpromising 
appearances which, to a common mind would have 
presented insuperable obstacles, seemed to increase 
the efforts, rather than damp the ardor of Judge 
Buel. Difficulties and obstructions were with him 
every day familiars. His mind had been, in some 
measure, formed under their influence. He recog- 
nized and acted on the doctrine, that where God 
has done little, it is incumbent on man to do much; 
and that nothing in this world is ever lost, by court- 
ing situations requiring the expenditure of effort. 
As a practical commentary on the truth of his doc- 
trine, it is worthy of remark, that the same acre of 
land which in 1821 he purchased for thirty dollars, 
he left at his death, in October, 1839, worth two 
hundred dollars. 


The efforts of Judge Buel have greatly tended to 
render honorable, as well as profitable and improv- 
ing, the pursuits of agriculture. He taught men 
that agricultural prosperity resulted neither from 
habit nor chance ; that success was subject to the 
same law in this, as in other departments of indus- 
try, and before it could be secured must be deserved; 
that mind, intellectual power, and moral purpose, 
constituted as essential parts, in the elements of 
agricultural prosperity, as in those of any other; 
and all these truths he enforced by precept, and 
illustrated by practice. By these means he has 
called into the field of agricultural labor a higher 
order of mind ; has elevated the standard of agri- 
cultural attainments; and has tended to render this 
extensive department of industry as intelligent, 
respected, and honorable, as it ever has been con- 
ceded to be useful, healthy, and independent. 

The writings of Judge Buel are principally to be 
found in the many addresses he has delivered ; in 
the six volumes of his Cultivator; in the small 
volume published by the Harpers of New York; and 
in his last work, the " Farmer's Companion," pub- 
lished by the Massachusetts Board of Education, 
and intended for the use of common schools. 

Judge Buel died at Danbury, Connecticut, on the 
4th of October, 1839, of an attack of the bilious 
fever. He was on his way to Norwich and New 
Haven, to deliver addresses to the agricultural and 
horticultural societies of those places. He died in 
the very field of his labors; in the midst of his use- 
fulness; in the full maturity of his mental faculties. 

The publication of the Cultivator is continued at 
Albany by Luther Tucker, Esq., a gentleman of 
great energy of character, and eminently qualified 
for such a work. Its circulation is immense, as 
neither pains nor expense are spared to secure valu- 
able information. Mr. Tucker has a beautiful 
country seat at Mount Hope near Albany. 



When Mason was preparing the case of E. K. 
Avery, and had examined about two hundred wit- 
nesses, somebody called to see him. The legal 
gentleman sent word that he was occupied, and 
could not be interrupted. " But the man is a wit- 
ness — a methodist minister." 

" Call him up," said Mason. " Well, sir, what 
can you testify?" 

" I have had a vision — two angels have appeared 
to me, and told me that Brother Avery is inno- 
cent " 

"Let them be summoned," said Mason, as he re- 
sumed his work. 

Had the learned subject of this memoir been in 
the place of Mason, it is certain that he would have 
returned a similar answer; for Judge Watson is 
one of the few men, who come at once to the point, 
and who, in professional business, say nothing, un- 
less they have something relevent to say. 

Judge Watson was born in the town of Rensse- 
laerville, Albany county, on the 27th of August, 
1804. He is the son of Wheeler and Sarah Watson, 
who emigrated from the State of Rhode Island, to 
said county, as some of its first settlers, while it 
was yet' a wilderness. His father was of New Eng- 
land's best stock, one of nature's noblemen, whose 
sterling character for honesty was so well appreci- 
ated by his fellow citizens, that after holding for a 
long period, many honorable offices, he was elected 
to represent Rensselaer county in the New York 
legislature. Although a mechanic, such was his 
fondness for reading, that he was familiar with al- 
most every principle in Blackstone, and to him his 
son may be somewhat indebted for the present 



proud position which he holds, as one of the jus- 
tices of the supreme court. 

Malbone early exhibited an aptness for learning", 
and, even in the common schools of the district, 
bore of all the honors off his class. He prepared for 
college at Greenville academy, Greene county, and 
graduated at Union college, in February, 1822, be- 
ing not quite eighteen years of age. He immedi- 
ately afterwards commenced the study of law, in 
the office of Henry Stone, Esq., of Rensselaerville, 
and completed his studies with Messrs. Foot & Ed- 
wards, of the city of Albany. In May, 1825, not 
having attained his twenty-first year, he was ad- 
mitted to the bar. He commenced practice in 
Windham, Greene county, New York, where, al- 
though an entire stranger, and a mere boy, he al- 
most immediately entered upon a lucrative prac- 
tice. After remaining there for three years, and 
practising for about the same period in the adjacent 
town of Durham, he removed to Catskill, the place 
of his present residence. Here, although his com- 
petitors were some of the ablest lawyers of the state, 
he soon stood at the head of the bar. He was al- 
most immediately appointed district-attorney of 
Greene county, and during the term of six years 
which he officiated, only four prisoners tried by him 
were ever acquitted, although in the liberal spirit 
for which he is so distinguished, he never from pro- 
fessional pride, pushed the conviction of a prisoner, 
unless he believed him guilty. Would that there 
were many such ! It was repeatedly said of him, 
that " no man ever performed the duties of that of- 
fice more liberally, or with less fear of giving of- 
fence. Finding its laborious duties to interfere 
with his other professional duties, although strongly 
urged by the judges to continue, he resigned. 

In 1838, Gov. Marcy appointed him surrogate of 
the county of Greene. He was reappointed by Gov. 
Bouck, in 1842. This office he held, with credit to 


himself, and with satisfaction to the county, until 
his election, in June, 1847, under the new constitu- 
tion, to the office of a justice of the supreme court 
of the state of New York. This honorable and 
highly responsible office, was never solicited or 
sought by him; but when nominated by his friends, 
and no man has stronger ones, finding a deep and 
well matured scheme on foot to defeat him, through 
the treachery of pretended political friends, and 
which would have discouraged a man of less ener- 
gy> he encountered and beat them. His election, 
under these circumstances, is considered as one of 
the proudest triumphs in the political history of 
New York. There could not have been a stronger 
proof of his popularity. With a disposition natural- 
ly ardent, Justice Watson has mingled deeply in 
politics. With a quickness of perception seldom 
surpassed, prompt, energetic, and generous in the 
extreme, he has secured a host of ardent and de- 
voted friends. Few men are better qualified for 
the bench, and although his career in that position 
has been short, he has given proof of the possession 
of powers, which must eventually place him in the 
very front rank of American jurists. 

Imitating the example of Chief Justice Marshal, 
whose favorite amusement during his leisure hours, 
was the pitching of quoits, Justice Watson, unlike 
many others, is too wise to neglect physical exer- 
cise. Whenever able to snatch a short respite from 
his professional labors, he has, with his dog and 
gun, struck into the deep forests and mountain soli- 
tudes of the Catskills, where, with an almost uner- 
ring aim, he would " snap a judgment" against ma- 
ny an unfortunate deer, and not unfrequently ob- 
tain " a verdict, with heavy damages," against a 

On one occasion, about two years since, during 
one of these excursions, in Sullivan county, he 
stood with his double-barreled fowling piece heavi- 


ly loaded with buck shot, waiting for a deer which 
his dogs had started. Suddenly hearing the leaves 
rustle near him, he elevated his gun, but instead of 
the expected deer, he beheld a huge bear, making 
towards him. To this proceeding, however, the 
judge immediately filed a " bill of exceptions," in 
the shape of a load of buck shot. The bear, indi- 
cating symptoms of a " demurrer," the contents of 
the remaining barrel were " deposited" with him 
for safe keeping, " and other purposes," whereupon 
bruin exhibited no signs of Swartwouting, but fell 
down, uttering the most discordant yells. We be- 
lieve the skin of the bear is now used by his victor 
as a sleigh robe. In this and other instances, the 
natural coolness and intrepidity of the judge alone 
saved his life. 

Judge Watson was, some years since, married to 
a lady of great worth, and he has several children, 
of whom he has every reason to be proud. A sister 
of his is the wife of the Hon. Zadock Pratt. 

The residence of the judge is on the heights at 
Catskill, and commands a view of surpassing 

Judge Watson is one of the fortunate few, whose 
peculiar temperament invariably leads them to look 
upon the bright side of things, and who, with the 
poet, can exclaim: 

There are times when the storm-gust may rattle around, 
There are spots where the poison-shrub grows ; 

Yet are there not hours when nought else can be found, 
But the south wind, the sunshine, and rose? 

Ta 1 ^ who will of the world as a desert of thrall, 
There is bloom, there is light in the waste; 

Though the chalice of life hath its acid and gall, 
There are honey-drops too for the taste. 



Chester Jenings was born in the town of Elling- 
ton, Connecticut, on the 19th of March, 1791. His 
father* John Jenings, was a native of the same 
place. His ancestors, who were connected with the 
early settlement of the country, were from England. 
His mother, the daughter of C. Lyon, Esq., of Green- 
field, was a woman of great energy of character, 
and remarkable perseverance. After his father's 
death, his mother early instilled into the mind of 
her son, principles of economy and prudence, which 
were the surest guarantees of his subsequent suc- 
cess in life. How powerful is the influence of a 
mother! What impressions can be more strong 
and more lasting, than those thus received upon the 
mind in the freshness and susceptibility of youth! 
Being obliged to depend upon his own resources, 
and having cheerfully undertaken the support of his 
widowed parent and sisters, his first earnings were 
devoted to the purchase of a comfortable place of 
residence for them ; and with the same filial regard 
did he devote himself to the happiness of his mother 
to the day of her death. What a beautiful moral 
spectacle does this afford ! Says a learned writer, 
" I defy you to show me a son that discharged his 
duty to his parents, who ever permanently failed in 
the honest and laudable pursuits of life ;" and we 
have the assurance of a higher authority, that he 
who honoreth his father and mother, shall, by no 
means, go unrewarded. 

After being engaged in various avocations, Mr. 
Jenings, in 1813, found his way to New York city, 
where he was employed by Solomon Gibson, Esq. 
It was at this period that he attracted the attention 


and won the friendship of Ezra Weeks, Esq.. who 
was then owner of the City hotel. On the retire- 
ment of Mr. Gibson in 1817, Mr. Jenings, under the 
patronage of Mr. Weeks, took a lease of the hotel, 
which he successfully kept for nineteen years, sus- 
taining its well earned reputation as one of the 
most respectable hotels in the United States. 

In the spring of 1836, on account of his declining 
health, he retired from a post, the duties of which 
he had so well discharged. He then visited Eng- 
land, and in the fall of the succeeding year went 
to the West Indies, where he passed the winter, 
enjoying the balmy climate of Santa Cruz, St. 
Thomas, Porto Rico, and Cuba, In the spring of 
1837, he returned to New York, much invigorated. 
In the ensuing fall he visited France, Italy, Austria, 
Prussia, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, England, 
Ireland, and Scotland. Having availed himself of 
the best medical advice in those countries, he, after 
an absence of eighteen months, returned to his 
native land with his health completely restored. 
During his European tour he gained many warm 
friends, not less by his kindness of heart, than by 
his suavity and intelligence. 

By the failure of the United States bank in 1840, 
he sustained heavy losses, but with a well balanced 
mind he did not spend time in useless regrets. He 
returned to his old occupation, the City hotel hav- 
ing been closed for some time, where he was wel- 
comed by a large circle of old friends, and where 
he still remains. 

Mr. Jenings furnishes a striking example of what 
may be accomplished by untiring perseverance, 
with unity of purpose. In person he is about the 
medium height. His forehead is good, and he has 
an intelligent eye. As a host he is ever attentive, 
and as a friend, warm, generous, and confiding. 
In his dealings with the world, he is noted for sound 


judgment and benevolence, and to those who know 
him best, it has often been felt 

That e'en his failings lean to virtue's side. 

Note. — The City Hotel in Broadway, says Grant 
Thorburn, was built in the summer and autumn of 
1794, and is the first house in the city, and also. 
in Auierica, whose roof was covered with slates. 
Having set up the timbers for the roof, and nailed 
the rough planks whereon to lay the slates, they 
came to a dead stand for lack of nails to fasten on 
the slates. Every hardware store in the city was 
ransacked in vain, as prior to this no slates had 
been used on the continent; therefore no one im- 
ported any of the nails. There were nailmakers in 
New York and Philadelphia enough, but they could 
only make shingle nails. There is a certain art in 
forming the head of the slate-nail, which only nail- 
makers from Europe are up to. 

In this dilemma they applied to me, who at that 
time was hammering ten-penny nails at No. 55 
Liberty street. 

I think it was twenty-five years after the hotel 
was finished, that happening to pass that way, I 
observed the slaters stripping the roof, preparatory 
to raising the building another story. I climbed 
up stairs, , got on the roof, and gathered a handful 
of my nails, which I put in a bottle, pouring wine 
and oil among them to keep them from rust ; and 
they are now as fresh as the hand that made them 
fifty years ago. 



Was born in Chester, Rockingham county, New 
Hampshire, on the 4th day of September, 1800. 
He was the son of Daniel and Mercy French. His 
mother's maiden name was Brown. She was the 
daughter of Benjamin Brown, of Chester,- and sis- 
ter of Francis Brown, an eminent divine, who, at 
the time of his death, in 1821, was president of 
Dartmouth college. 

Mr. French was the only child of his mother, 
who died when he was eighteen months old. His 
father was a lawyer, of high standing, and was for 
several years attorney-general of the state of New 

The subject of this biography received a good 
common school and academic education, and it 
was the earnest desire of his father, and friends, 
that he should enter college, which he declined to 
do. And although it was the intention of his father 
that he should be educated for the bar, Benjamin, 
having a taste for mechanics, opposed this intention, 
with a view of being either a mechanic or a mari- 
ner; and so much was his heart set upon one or 
other of these employments for a livelihood, that, 
in 1819, he went to Boston, with a view of going 
to sea. Disappointed in obtaining a berth on board 
a ship, he enlisted as a soldier in the army of the 
United States, and was stationed at Fort Warren, 
on Governor's island, in the harbor of Boston, witb 
a detachment of the eighth regiment of infantry. 
He was, soon after enlisting, appointed a sergeant, 
and performed his duty faithfully, for about four 
months, when, at the earnest solicitation of his 
friends, who provided a substitute, he left the army 
on the 12th day of September, 1819. 


He then returned to his father's, and, although 

contrary to his own inclination, commenced the 

study of the law, which he pursued with diligence, 

% for five years, that being the time fixed by the bar 

rules of New Hampshire. 

At the February term of the court of common 
pleas, for the county of Rockingham, held at Ports- 
mouth, in 1825, Mr. French was admitted an at- 
torney at law; and in the month of March follow- 
ing, commenced the practice, at Hookset, in the 
county of Merrimack, from whence, in September, 
he removed to Sutton. Having married Elizabeth 
S. Richardson, daughter of the Hon. William M. 
Richardson, chief justice of the supreme court of 
New Hampshire, he may be said to have com- 
menced the business portion of his life upon his 
own responsibility, in Sutton, where he fairly set- 
tled down, at law and housekeeping, in Novem- 
ber, 1825. 

Mr. French entered immediately into full prac- 
tice, and with his industry and natural business tact, 
would, probably, have taken a very respectable 
place at the bar, had he continued in his profession. 
He was elected assistant clerk of the senate of New 
Hampshire, in June, 1826, to which office he was 
twice reelected. 

In September, 1827, he removed to Newport, in 
the county of Sullivan, and was immediately ap- 
pointed clerk of the superior court and court of 
common pleas of that county, the duties of which 
offices he discharged, acceptably to every one, until 
the winter of 1833-4. 

In 1831, Mr. French was elected a representative 
from the town of Newport, in his native state, and 
was reelected for the two succeeding years. In the 
legislature, he took a high stand, not only as a 
party leader, but as a legislator. He was placed 
upon important committees, as their chairman, and 
was, in 1833, a member of the joint committee of 


the legislature, appointed to repair to Boston, and 
invite Gen. Jackson, then on his presidential tour, 
to visit the New Hampshire legislature. For three 
years of the time Mr. French resided at Newport, 
he was the editor of the New Hampshire Spectator, 
a popular democratic paper; and we have only to 
say, as evidence of the manner in which he con- 
ducted it, that its subscription list more than dou- 
bled while it was under his control. It was after- 
wards united with the New Hampshire Argus, and 
edited by Hon. Edmund Burke, and is still publish- 
ed at Newport. 

In December, 1833, Walter S. Franklin, clerk of 
the house of representatives of the United States, 
appointed Major French^ an assistant clerk in his 
office; upon being notified of which, he repaired to 
Washington, and, on the 28th day of December, 
1833, entered upon its duties. He soon after resign- 
ed his clerkships in New Hampshire, and removing 
his family to Washington, became a permanent 
resident of that city. 

As an assistant clerk, he soon became popular 
with the house, and useful as an officer. He held 
the situation of chief clerk of the office under Mr. 
Garland, and Col. McNulty, and when the latter 
left the office of clerk of the house, on the 18th of 
January, 1845, Major French was unanimously 
elected to that high and responsible office. He 
performed the duties of the office so entirely to the 
satisfaction of the house, that at the opening of the 
29th congress he was unanimously reelected. Since 
that time he has continued to discharge the labori- 
ous duties of the clerkship of the house of repre- 
sentatives in a manner that has won for him the 
reputation of being one of the best, if not the best 
clerk the house ever had. He has qualifications 

* Mr. French held a major's commission in the New Hampshire 
m itia, and he is so generally addressed by that title, that we as- 
sume it. 



which fit him peculiarly and eminently for the sta- 

It is known that the construction of the hall of 
the house renders it exceedingly difficult for most 
men to be heard, in reading or speaking in it, except 
by those in their immediate neighborhood. Mr. 
French's voice, though not strong, is clear, pene- 
trating and firm; and when reading at the clerk's 
desk, every word he utters is conveyed distinctly to 
all parts of the hall. He has an acquaintance with 
the rules of the house, and with parliamentary law 
generally, probably unequalled by any other person 
in the country — and a memory so retentive that he 
can refer to decisions and precedents, bearing upon 
every case that arises, with a promptness and accu- 
racy perfectly astonishing. The writer of this has 
frequently, as a matter of curiosity, taken up points 
of difficulty in the construction of rules, and thrown 
them before Maj. French, in the midst of duties at 
the desk requiring his attention, and has never 
found him at fault — he being always ready to say 
when, by whom, and how the point had been de- 
cided. In addition to his superior fitness for the 
office, Mr. French's equable temper and obliging 
disposition have made him quite a favorite with 
each successive house with which he has been con- 
nected, and he accordingly possesses a high degree 
of personal popularity. He is a decided democrat 
in his political principles ; but the strict integrity 
and impartiality of his official conduct has won for 
him the respect, esteem, and entire confidence of 
all parties in the house. 

As an indication of his indefatigable industry, as 
well as the extent to which his business talent is 
appreciated, it may be mentioned here, that he is, 
at this time, clerk of the house of representatives 
of the United States — an alderman of the city of 
Washington — grand master of the Masons of the 
District of Columbia — and president of the Wash- 


ington and New York Magnetic Telegraph company. 
Yet such is the extraordinary energy and capability 
of the man, that he discharges the multifarious 
duties of all these offices as fully and as faithfully 
as though he devoted his whole time and attention 
to each. Amid all his business engagements, in 
the fulfilment of which no man is more prompt or 
scrupulous, he found abundant leisure to deliver 
scientific lectures — to write highly finished articles 
for the best magazines, and other literary, political, 
and scientific periodicals — to indulge his fancy for 
field sports — to conduct, with great regularity, a 
very extensive correspondence — and to " cultivate 
the muses," of which "gentle companie of mine" 
we think he is no ordinary favorite. 

Although he has been, for some years, a resident 
of Washington, he retains a deep and ardent love 
for New England, of which time does not seem, in 
any degree, to abate the fervency. 

As a man, Maj. French is liberal, generous, and 
charitable, with a moral character above reproach. 
As a citizen, he is public spirited and exemplary. 
As a friend, warm hearted, reliable, and zealous. 
In all the relations of life — as a man — citizen- 
public officer — he has been distinguished for the 
scrupulous discharge of his whole duty, and inflex- 
ible fidelity to the numerous trusts committed to 
his charge. 

Note.- — Since the above was written, the whigs 
now having a majority in the house, the subject of 
our sketch, although unanimously supported by his 
own and by many of the opposite party, among 
whom was the venerable John Quincy Adams, was 
not reelected for the thirtieth congress. A better 
man cannot easily be found, or a more efficient 



This artist was born on the 21st of May, 1817, at 
South Had ley, Massachusetts, a village surrounded 
by all that is beautiful in scenery, and one of the 
most delightful in New England. When a boy, it 
always afforded him great delight to rove in the 
woods, to gaze upon the beauties of nature, and for 
hours to follow the brooks up some deep, dark ra- 
vine. At the age of seventeen, he made the ac- 
quaintance of Mr. Collins, a celebrated portrait 
painter, of Albany, who taught him to set the pa- 
lette, which was about all. With this limited 
knowledge, Mr. White commenced painting on his 
own account, in his native village. He subsequent- 
ly went to Hartford, and thence to Bridgeport, in 
Connecticut, where he spent some four or five years, 
painting portraits, when an event occurred which 
had, and will continue to have, an important bear- 
ing on his life. "I had," said he, in a letter to a 
friend, " the imprudence to get married — and that 
imprudence happened to be the best thing I ever 
did in my life." 

In 1840, Mr. White removed to New York city, 
with the determination to devote himself to the 
study of painting according to the principles of 
the art; he having previously been governed entire- 
ly by feeling. With this view he placed himself 
under the instruction of a very able teacher, and the 
admirable pictures from time to time exhibited in 
New York, afford proof of his success. He is mo- 
dest as he is meritorious, and must, in a few years, 
hold no inferior place among the artists of our 



kge silvers o'er the hair and dims the eye, 

And things are not as they were wont to seem; 

But, unforgotten one ! though years pass by, 
The memory of the heart, it still is green. 

What a world of thoughts and feelings arise in 
perusing old letters! "What lessons do we read 
in the silliest of them; and in others what beauty, 
what charm, what magical illusion wraps the senses 
in brief enchantment! But it is brief, indeed. 
Absence, estrangement, death, the three great ene- 
mies of mortal ties, start up To break the spell. The 
letters of those who are dead, how wonderful. We 
seem to live and breathe in their society. The 
writers once, perhaps, lived with us in the com- 
munion of friendship, in the flames of passion, in 
the whirl of pleasure ; in the same career, in short, 
of earthly joys, earthly follies, and earthly infirm- 
ities. We seem again to retrace these paths to- 
gether; but are suddenly arrested by the knowledge, 
that there lies a vast gulf between us and them. 
The hands which traced those characters are mould- 
ering in the tomb, eaten by worms, or already 
turned to dust. 

Letters from those we once loved, who perhaps 
are still living, but no longer living for us. It may 
be they grew tired of us; it may be we grew tired 
of them; or the separation may have arisen from 
mutual imperfections in character. Still the letters 
recall times and seasons when it was otherwise, 
and we look upon ourselves out of ourselves, as it 
were with much melancholy interest. That identity 
of the person, and that estrangement of the spirit, 
who can paint it ? 

There is still a third class of old letters on which 



the heart delights to expatiate; those of the still 
living, but the absent. Oh ! what do they not af- 
ford of delight? They have the whole witchery of 
beauty, love, and truth in them, without one speck 
or flaw to lower the tone of that enchantment they 

The above remarks were suggested by the perusal 
of a letter written by the venerable relict of General 
Alexander Hamilton, nearly fifty years ago. Those 
fingers are now tremulous with age, and that eye 
which might have maddened an anchorite, is now 
dim. In a few years at most, will her earthly career 
be ended, but her memory will dwell long in the 
grateful hearts of those, who have been the recipi- 
ents of her bounty. Venerable lady, piercing was 
thy shriek of agony, when the news of thy husband's 
murder was brought thee as thou wast worshipping 
in the house of God. But "sweet are the uses of 
adversity." In the darkest thunder cloud sleeps 
the brightest lightning, and though on earth there 

may be many sorrows, yet there is a better land 


"Where every heart rejoins its kindred heart, 
Where, in a long embrace that none may part, 
Fulfilment meets desire; and that fair shore 
Beholds its dwellers happy evermore." 

Mrs. Hamilton must be nearly eighty years of 
age. She is head directress of the New York 
Orphan Asylum at Bloomingdale, of which excel- 
lent institution, she and Mrs. Bethune, the second 
directress, were the founders. Previous to the es- 
tablishment of this benevolent institution, there 
was no public receptacle for the numerous unfor- 
tunate infants, which are so frequently left by their 
depraved parents, to perish in the streets of the 
great metropolis. 



The following sketch of this celebrated baptist 
minister, whose preaching- has, under the blessing 
of God, produced such abundant fruit, in many por- 
tions of the Union, cannot but be read with deep 
interest. It was at Washington city, on a glorious 
spring afternoon, that the attention of the writer 
was first called to Mr. Knapp, as in the clear wa- 
ters of the Potomac, whose shores were lined with 
thousands of spectators, this modern apostle was 
baptizing numbers upon a profession of their faith. 
A magnificent spectacle was that ! and tears, which 
had seldom flowed before, were seen in many an 
eye. So affected was one notorious profligate, on 
seeing his wife baptized, that he threw off his coat, 
and marched into the water, begging to be baptized 
with her! 

The Rev. * Jacob Knapp, Jun., was born Decem- 
ber 7th, 1799, in the town of Otego, Otsego county, 
New York. His father's name was Jacob, the son 
of Luke Knapp. His mother's name was Lucinda 
May hew. His father, though a shoemaker by 
trade, spent the most of his days in agricultural 
pursuits; and, though poor in this world's goods, 
was industrious and virtuous. Being a member of 
the episcopal church, until after his son Jacob had 
entered the ministry, he brought up his children to 
abstain from all bad habits, and to attend to the 
forms of religion. 

From six years of age to eighteen, the subject of 
this narrative dwelt with his parents in Masonville, 
Delaware county, New York, and was brought up 
to apply himself indefatigably to all kinds of hard 
labor, seldom being allowed a holiday, winter or 
summer. This excessive industry arose in part 


from principle, and in part from necessity; his mo- 
ther leaving twelve children, at her decease, and 
his father having eight more by his second wife, all 
of whom had to be supported by the industry of the 
family. In the seventeenth year of his age, he was 
called, in the providence of God, to follow his mo- 
ther to her grave. The serious impressions produced 
by an early religious education, on the mind of Ja- 
cob, were deepened by this bereavement, and con- 
tinued to increase until they resulted in a hope of a 
glorious immortality beyond the grave. Often did 
he lay himself on her grave, in the cool pale rays of 
the moon, bathed in tears, in prayer to God for the 
salvation of his soul. 

In the winter of 1819, he professed his faith in 
Christ by being baptized into the fellowship of the 
baptist church of Masonville, Delaware county, 
New York. Immediately after this, he began to be 
impressed with a sense of his duty to preach the 
gospel; but, conscious of his weakness, unworthi- 
ness, and want of education, he could not think of 
entering upon a work so responsible, without devot- 
ing some years to the cultivation of his mind ; to 
this he felt himself as really called of God, as to the 
work of the ministry. From his nineteenth to his 
twentieth year, the last year of his stay with his 
father (for his father gave his sons the last year of 
their minority), his mind was constantly occupied 
with the duties, qualifications and work of the minis- 
try. The world had no charms — he sighed and 
prayed for the opening of some way by which his 
mind might be cultivated, and he thereby qualified 
for usefulness. At this time he was living with his 
father, on the head waters of the Allegany. Being 
young, and unacquainted with the world, and hav- 
ing no knowledge of any institution or society, by 
which indigent young men, who were candidates 
for the ministry, could be aided, he was at a loss to 
know which way to turn. On the second day of 


December, 1818, he shouldered his pack, and "went 
out, not knowing whither he went." His footsteps 
were first directed to Delaware county, where an 
opportunity presented itself for him to work for his 
board and attend school. When he started upon 
his journey of two hundred and ten miles, he had 
but five dollars, and wishing to make the most of 
them, to further the great end in view, he perform- 
ed this journey without expending more than fifty 
cents, and yet he was as independent as the king in 
his chariot, for he paid for all he had, (his lodging), 
and ate his meals from his pack, drinking the pure 
water from the mountain's base, under the blue 
arch of heaven. After struggling on for some 
months, overcoming obstacle after obstacle, chop- 
ping cord wood by moonlight, to meet the necessi- 
ties of nature, he accepted the invitation of an uncle 
in Spencertown, eighteen miles east of Hudson, to 
board with him and attend school. 

After the winter had rolled off, and the spring of 
1821 was approaching, he found his scanty stock of 
clothes exhausted, his cash reduced to twenty-five 
cents, the great end for which he had sacrificed all 
things, as far ahead as ever, and there was no friend 
to whom he could look for aid. Beg he could not, 
but to dig he was not ashamed. He finally resolved 
to return to Delaware county, and let himself for a 
time at rafting and running lumber, as he could 
command good wages in that service. He then 
took his pack, containing what few articles of cloth- 
ing he had, and provisions for a journey of one 
hundred and twenty miles, with but twenty-five 
cents in his pocket, and started off. A severe storm 
of snow and rain commenced the day he set 
out on his journey, which continued for three 
days. When he arrived at the North river, he found 
the expense of crossing to be twenty-five cents; 
but, upon telling the ferryman that he had but 
twenty-five cents in the world, and a hundred miles 


yet to travel, a discount of one-half was readily- 
made, leaving him now one York shilling for one 
hundred miles travel. After beating on through 
rain and snow until towards evening, a gentleman 
gave him an invitation to ride, and while calling to 
feed the team and warm himself, his pack, contain- 
ing his all, was left in the sleigh. On returning, 
they found that either a dog, or some inhuman be- 
ing, worse than a dog, had taken the pack with its 
contents. It was now that the school of affliction 
was accomplishing no inconsiderable part of Mr. 
K's education. He found himself among strangers, 
far from friends or acquaintances, homeless, friend- 
less, and pennyless. Re thought of his father, but 
he was three hundred miles off — of his mother, but 
she was in her grave. That night he traveled until 
a late hoar, put up at a tavern, without a dry thread 
in his garments, hungry, fatigued, "cast down, but 
not destroyed." The next morning he put on his 
wet garments, paid half his York shilling for his 
lodging, and traveled on. He called at different 
places, inquired for work, and told his circum- 
stances, but no one wanted laborers, and no one in- 
vited him to eat a mouthful of food, until about 
noon, when a kind hearted lady gave him a dinner, 
which was very thankfully received. Strengthened 
by this, and encouraged by the promises of God, he 
completed his journey. Here, on the head waters 
of the Delaware, he labored a few weeks. Having 
supplied himself with summer clothing, and money 

I enough to pay his tuition for one quarter, he started 
for the academy in the town of Butternuts, under 
the instruction of the Rev. Mr. Collins. Here he 
made an effort to procure his board for labor, 
in which he was unsuccessful. Mr. Collins hav- 
ing learned the circumstances of Mr. Knapp, in- 
vited him to board with him, promising him what 
work he had, agreeing to wait for the remainder 
until it could be paid, by teaching or otherwise. 



Here he found himself behind the most of the 
school, and his being unaccustomed to study, com- 
bined with sedentary habits, his health was taxed, 
his patience tried, and his ambition chastened. At 
the close of the term, however, the principal of the 
academy awarded him the premium for excellence 
in performing his part at the public exhibition ; this 
premium, however, had nothing to do with general 
scholarship. Harvest time coming on, he was com- 
pelled to leave his studies for a time, to enter the har- 
vest-field, to replenish his scanty stock of means for 
prosecuting his studies, during which season he 
procured enough to defray the expenses of a second 
quarter. Through all these efforts to prosecute his 
studies he subjected himself to great self-denial, 
wearing cotton pants, and going in his shirt sleeves 
in summer, to keep his coat for winter. Towards 
the close of the quarter, thinking himself not suffi- 
ciently qualified to teach in that section, yet being 
compelled to engage in some business to further his 
object, he thought of going west to engage a school 
for a season. But in the mean time, a powerful re- 
vival broke out, and his whole soul was enlisted in 
it. A general anxiety pervaded the entire commu- 
nity, to have him remain. The ladies, without his 
knowledge, prepared him a suit of clothes, and in- 
vited him to board among them the next quarter, 
free of expense. This act of kindness, so unex- 
pected, and so much needed, almost broke his 
heart, and produced gratitude inexpressible, accom- 
panied with an effusion of tears. In 1821, he taught 
a school in New Lisbon, Otsego county, and paid off 
all his former bills. 

In the spring of 1821, he was licensed to preach, 
by the church in Masonville, with which he first 
united, and was commended by that church to the 
literary and theological institution in Hamilton, 
which was then in its infancy. The course of 
study at that time was three years, which he com- 


pleted, and received his diploma, in June, 1824. 
He then received and accepted a call from the bap- 
tist church in Springfield, Otsego county, New York. 

In September following he was ordained to the 
gospel ministry, and in the same month was mar- 
ried to Miss Electa Paine. After serving this peo- 
ple with some success, for five years, he resigned, 
and accepted a call from the infant church in Wa- 
tertown, Jefferson county, New York. During his 
labors with them, for three years, he baptized about 
three hundred persons. He then, under the reviv- 
ing influences of God's spirit, (poured out upon the 
churches, the ministry, and the impenitent,) receiv- 
ed great light, and experienced a great change, both 
in his views and feelings, as well as in his charac- 
ter and sense of action. From a clear conviction 
of duty, he resigned his charge as pastor, and de- 
voted himself to the work of an evangelist. This 
step was taken in 1832. At this time he had a 
wife and four children, for whom to provide, their 
expenses yearly — and as there were no benevolent 
societies to aid evangelists, and the churches in that 
section could hardly support their pastors, he could 
see no way by which the expenses of his family 
could be met. But, being clear in his convictions 
of duty, he resolved to go as far as what means he 
had could carry him, and trust to God for the fu- 

The various steps which the providence of God 
have marked out for him, from that time to the pre- 
sent, a period of fifteen years, the scenes through 
which he has passed, and the success with which 
his labors have been crowned, cannot be particular- 
ized in this brief sketch. Suffice it to say, that 
during a period of twenty-three years, he has 
preached eight thousand five hundred sermons, and 
baptized, as nearly as can be ascertained, upwards 
of four thousand persons. Some thirty thousand 
persons have made a profession of religion, in con 


nection with his labors; more or less of whom have 
a standing in all the evangelical denominations of 
this country. Between thirty and forty of those 
converted under his labors, have entered the gospel 

It is well knoAvn in Baltimore, and its vicinity, that 
the great Washington ian reformation can be traced 
to a sermon which Mr. Knapp preached to the 
Young Men's Temperance society in that city. 

The peculiar style of Mr. Knapp, it would be dif- 
ficult to describe. It is that, however, which 
brings the intellect down through the heart, and 
melts its precious metals in that hot furnace. There 
is an edge in all he says. " Playful, but not light; 
imaginative, but not dramatic; using common 
words, with uncommon power; speaking to you, 
as if he expected to convince you; decided, and 
fall of earnestness;" he is cheerful, without levity, 
and grave without gloom; mighty in the pulpit, 
but no less mighty out of it; he is an evangelist 
that need not to be ashamed. 

We cannot close this memoir without giving a 
single illustration of his original and pointed style. 
Preaching, very recently, from the text, " Lord, 
save me or I perish," Mr. Knapp observed, that had 
the exordium to Peter's prayer been one-fourth as 
long as that of many modern preachers, the sinking 
disciple must have been at least seventy feet below 
the surface, before his petition could have been ut- 



In presenting the portrait of Capt. Clay, it is not 
our intention to dwell upon the moral courage he 
displayed by the establishment of an abolition paper 
at Louisville, in the midst of a slave holding state; 
nor upon the exciting scenes which attended the 
removal of his press to Cincinnati. We notice him 
only in his military capacity. At an early stage of 
the Mexican war, he with many of his brave com- 
panions in arms having been captured, upon their 
liberation, a card was published by his men, dated 
Lexington, Kentucky, Oct. 20, 1847. The follow- 
ing is an extract : 

" When Captain Henry made his escape, and the 
Mexican commander, excited by the event, gave 
orders for the massacre of the Americans, Captain 
Clay exclaimed, 'Kill the officers — spare the sol- 
diers!' A Mexican major ran to him, presenting a 
cocked pistol to his breast. He still exclaimed: 
'Kill me — kill the officers — but spare the men — 
they are innocent!' Who but C. M. Clay, with a 
loaded pistol at his head, and in the hand of an 
enraged enemy, would have shown such magnani- 
mous self devotion ? If any man ever was entitled 
to be called ' the soldier's friend,' he is. He was 
ever watchful and kind towards us, allowing every 
privilege that would be granted by our enemies — 
turned all orders and commands into advice and 
consolation; and upon our march to the city, would 
take turn by turn, allowing us to ride his mule, that 
we might stand the march of forty miles a day — 
divided the last cent of money he had with us, and 
resorted to every sacrifice to make us happy and 
comfortable. He disposed of his' mule, when he 
found it necessary — the only animal he had; his 


buffalo rug, his watch, and all his clothes but one 
suit, and supplied our wants. He not only acted 
in this manner towards those under his immediate 
command, but to all; and expressed his regret that 
he was unable to do more. 

"We make no comments upon the character and 
conduct of Captain Clay. We state facts — we feel, 
but have no language to express our feelings." 


Perhaps few professional men have experienced 
greater difficulties than Doctor Perry. Previous to 
commencing his studies, he was a journeyman 
printer. While thus employed, he won the regard 
of a benevolent physician of Albany, who aided 
him in the study of medicine. He was afterwards 
assisted by another medical friend, and eventually 
took his degree of M. D. He then, we believe, 
commenced on his own account at Saratoga; but 
having no funds, and being sadly discouraged by 
the lack of patronage, he having the misfortune to 
look young, he returned to the printing office, where 
he remained until his marriage with a very amiable 
lady. Matters then began to take a new turn. He 
resumed the practice of his profession at Saratoga, 
with increasing success, until he now enjoys an 
enviable reputation. 

How truly has it been observed that love is in- 
spiration. It encourages to great deeds, and de- 
velopes the noblest faculties of our nature. Few 
men have flourished, who, were they to be candid, 
would not acknowledge the vast advantage they 
have experienced in the earlier years of their career, 
from the spirit and sympathy of woman. 



Thousands who have for years, been daily readers 
of the Washington city " National Intelligencer," 
have perhaps, never formed a correct idea of the 
man from whose pen flow the statesman-like articles 
which fill the columns of that paper. From a poli- 
tical warfare of so many years, contending against 
powerful partizan opponents, it may reasonably be 
imagined, that Mr. Gales has been concentrated 
into a mere mass of political gunpowder, and that 
all the kindly sympathies of our nature have long 
been evaporated. Never was there a greater mis- 
take. Instead of the sour-looking, razor-edge phy- 
siognomy of too many of those who are doomed to 
"make bread from brain," our subject is the very 
personification of good nature. He is just such a 
man as a wounded deer would run to for succor, 
or a stranger, robbed of his pocket book, would ask 
for a temporary loan. Short in stature, corpulent, 
and with hair whitened by the snows of time, he is 
the centre of a circle of grateful hearts who have 
never appealed to his purse in vain. 

Mr. Gales, as has been set forth in italics, and 
large and small capitals hundreds of times, by the 
opposition presses, is an Englishman. His father, 
now deceased, once conducted a highly respectable 
paper in North Carolina. His son Joseph was a 
journeyman printer, and previous to coming to 
Washington, it is said he worked a week in Phila- 
delphia. On looking over his work, there were so 
many errors, that he made a present of the compo- 
sition to a fellow workman, on the condition that 
the latter would correct it. He then, with others, 
established the respectable paper which he still 
conducts. Of the character of the Intelligencer it 


is unnecessary to speak. Its immense circulation 
among men of both parties, is sufficient evidence 
of its standing. 

Generous to a fault, the munificence of Mr. 
Gales has frequently involved him in temporary 
pecuniary difficulties. But even at such times, his 
benevolent feelings would still predominate. We 
have heard that many years ago, the holder of an 
unpaid promissory note, unacquainted with the man, 
placed it in the hands of the sheriff, who served a 
writ upon Mr. Gales. The latter, accompanied by 
the officer, went to a friend across the street, and 
borrowed the money. But the next moment, one 
of his old workmen, in great distress, accosting him, 
Mr. Gales immediately handed him half the money 
he had just borrowed, and told the sheriff to take 
the remainder and " call again tomorrow." 

It is said that many of his superannuated work- 
men have for a long period been supplied by him 
with a weekly allowance. He has a fine country 
residence in the vicinity of Washington. He is 
married, but has, we believe, no children. His 
partner, W. W. Seaton, Esq., has for many years, 
been mayor of the city of Washington, and is one 
of the regents of the Smithsonian institute. 

Verging upon three score, it cannot be long before 
Mr. Gales will pay the debt of nature; but when 
that event shall occur, the flowers upon his grave 
will be watered with many tears. 



This venerable and dignified lady, a " rose bloom- 
ing in Alpine snows," now nearly eighty years of 
age, still resides at her hospitable mansion, in 
Washington city, where "lang syne" she was one 
of the most polished, elegant, brilliant and beauti- 
ful ladies that ever graced the social circle. Her 
manners have all the stateliness of " olden times," 
when she stood, the personification of grace, in the 
reception room of the presidential mansion — yet 
they sweetly harmonize with the changes of the 
present day. She has a full face, bright blue eyes, 
beaming with benevolence, and a somewhat florid 
complexion. Her house, says a gentleman who 
recently visited it, is a miniature museum. The 
greater part of her collection is still at her former 
residence, in Montpelier, Va. ; but what has been 
removed here, well repays the visiter, aside from 
the gratification of seeing their venerable pos- 

It is well knowiT that in addition to that of the 
president, the mansions of Mrs. Madison and Ex- 
President Adams, are thrown open for the reception 
of visiters, on Xew Year's day. Two winters ago, 
on one of these occasions, it is said that the venera- 
ble ex-president, on the expiration of the usual 
visiting hours, walked to the residence of Mrs. Ma- 
dison, when he, there and then, in the good old re- 
publican style of other days, not only wished her a 
" happy New Year," but proved his sincerity by im- 
printing a kiss upon her matronly lips. 

It was a beautiful incident, these two relics of an 
age gone by, thus meeting each other in the twi- 
light of existence. 



It has been truly said, that with energy, perse- 
verance, and a well balanced mind, man may ac- 
complish almost every thing attainable by human 
effort. What is it but well directed energy, that 
lifts man above man, and sets in motion the mighty 
and varied powers that heaven has granted him — 
that sets him beyond the reach of competition, even 
upon the topmost pinnacle of fame — a bright star 
whose name is spelt in diamonds, never to be dim- 
med, and never to be forgotten ? 

An illustrious exemplification of the truth of this 
remark is furnished by the life of the late Chancel- 
lor Kent, who, on Sunday evening, December 13, 
1847, at his residence in New York city, left a world 
which he has benefitted and adorned, for that bless- 
ed immortality which is the Christian's hope while 
on earth, and his reward through eternity. 

James Kent, says the New York Tribune, was 
born on the 31st of July, 1763, in Fredericksburg, 
then part of Dutchess, but now of Putnam county, 
New York, and was the eldest son of Moss Kent, a 
graduate of Yale college, Connecticut, who was 
admitted to the bar of Dutchess county in 1756. 
His grandfather, Rev. Elisha Kent, a native of Suf- 
field, Connecticut, was for thirty-six years minister 
of the Presbyterian congregation of Kent's parish in 
Dutchess county, and his brother, Moss, sat in the 
senate of this state, and in congress, and was for 
some time register of the court of chancery. 

Mr. Kent was sent to school at Norwalk, when 
but five years old, and was placed under various 
instructors until he entered Yale college in Septem- 
ber, 1777, more than seventy years since. From 
the precepts, and yet more the example, of those 


pious puritans, among whom his early years were 
passed, he acquired that simplicity of character and 
purity of morals which he preserved through life. 

In July, 1779, New Haven was invaded by the 
British forces, the college broken up, and the stu- 
dents dispersed. In his exile, young Kent met with 
Blackstone's Commentaries, read, admired, and, at 
sixteen, determined to be a lawyer. He finally left 
college with high reputation; studied law with 
Egbert Benson, attorney-general of New York ; was 
studious, temperate, and a water-drinker, indulging 
in none of the fashionable pleasures or dissipation 
of the times. An enthusiastic admirer of Nature's 
charms, the love of reading was his ruling passion. 
He was cheerful, lively, and communicative — 
young, ardent, active, and persevering — his mind 
was early stored with useful knowledge, and the 
morning of his life gave promise of the noonday 
brilliancy of his remarkable career. 

In April, 1787, he was admitted, at Albany, a 
counsellor of the supreme court — in 1790, and again 
in 1792, elected to the legislature by the people of 
his native county. From the purest motives, and 
believing its policy the best for his country, he joined 
the federal party, became the steadfast friend of 
Jay, Hamilton, and others of its leaders, to whose 
political principles and usages he steadily adhered, 
until, in 1819, it ceased to exist. 

After failing to be elected to congress by a few 
votes, he removed, in 1793, from Poughkeepsie to 
New York, was appointed professor of law in Colum- 
bia college, and delivered a course of lectures the 
year following. In 1796, he was appointed a mas- 
ter in chancery — there were then but two of them, 
and next year called to fill the office of recorder of 
New York. In 1798, he ascended the supreme 
court bench as one of the judges, and removed his 
residence to Albany, where he commenced the prac- 
tice of delivering a written, argumentative opinion, 


supported by legal authorities, in every case of suf- 
ficient importance to become a precedent for the 
future. Thus commenced that series of recorded 
judicial decisions which have enriched the jurispru- 
dence of New York, and proved alike useful to the 
legislator, the judge, and the codifier. 

Judges Kent and Radcliffe revised the statutes 
of our state in 1800. In July, 1804, the former was 
appointed chief justice of the state, and continued 
to preside in the supreme court until his appoint- 
ment as chancellor, in February, 1814. His legal 
opinions, delivered while in the supreme court, are 
contained in sixteen volumes of well known and 
highly appreciated reports. 

As chancellor, which high office he filled till 
1823, he is understood to have displayed to great 
advantage these excellent business habits, and that 
promptitude which marked his career through a 
long and invaluable life. A few favored lawyers 
had, before his time, monopolized chancery busi- 
ness — he threw its doors wide open to the profes- 
sion — and was unwearied in his efforts to despatch 
the causes brought under his cognizance. 

By the constitution of 1821, the judges were re- 
movable from office at sixty years of age; and, on 
July 31, 1823, he, having reached that period, re- 
tired, after hearing and carefully deciding every 
case that had been brought before him. The mem- 
bers of the bar in New York and Albany took that 
occasion to bear ample testimony to his worth and 
usefulness, and to acknowledge the benefits which 
society had derived from his learning, wisdom and 
assiduity. In 1824, he became a second time law 
professor in Columbia college, and in 1826 appeared 
the first volume of his inestimable Commentaries 
on American Law, which were concluded in four 
volumes in 1830, and have been extended and im- 
proved by him, with great care, from that period 
to this. 


He was elected president of the New York His- 
torical society in 1828, and was an original member 
of the Literary association of Yale college, formed 
in 1780, under the name of the Phi Beta Kappa 
society. In 1821, he represented Albany county in 
the state constitutional convention. He was a dis- 
tinguished ornament of that learned and patriotic 
body, and steadily adhered to the opinion that with 
a constituency of freeholders, owners and cultivators 
of the soil, the unincumbered possessors of happy 
homesteads, the liberties of the country would be 
safest. In 1785, he married a sister of Gen. Theo- 
dorus Bailey, a lady now nearly eighty years old, 
and who survives him, after enjoying over three 
score years of uninterrupted domestic felicity. His 
family consisted of two daughters and one son, the 
learned and well known Judge Kent, who resigned 
the office of circuit judge here some years since, 
and more recently gave up his professorship at. 
Cambridge, that he might cheer the latter days of 
his venerated and excellent father by his company 
and personal attentions. 

He was an exemplary Christian, a steadfast and 
affectionate father, a tender husband, an ardent 
patriot, and a true lover and defender of his coun- 
try's rights. So highly are his works esteemed 
abroad that the lord chief justice of England, Baron 
Denman, wrote to Judge Kent, some years since, 
to acknowledge the indebtedness of the legal pro- 
fession throughout the world to him for his able 



Was born at Howard, Steuben county, New 
York, on the 25th of February, 1816. His parents 
came from Massachusetts, and were among the ear- 
liest settlers of Steuben county. His father was a 
farmer of good repute. When the latter died, Otis 
was but fourteen years of age. and was apprenticed 
to the business of wagon making and sign painting, 
those branches being frequently united, in many of 
our villages. His love of the fine arts was first 
awakened, by the arrival of a portrait painter in that 
place. Eager to obtain some knowledge of the art, 
Otis exerted himself to the utmost to raise the ways 
and means, and applied for instruction; but the 
artist refused to disclose any of his professional se- 
crets. At that period Otis was eighteen years of 
age, and the productions of this painter were the 
first oil paintings he had ever seen. Ever after- 
wards, his mind was fixed upon painting, and al- 
though the way did not then appear, an artist he 
was determined to become. With this view he de- 
sired to leave his trade, for the purpose of obtaining 
instruction in some of the distant cities; but, at the 
earnest entreaty of his mother, who could not bear 
the idea of parting with him, he consented to re- 
main. All his spending money was laid out in 
books, but he searched in vain for any which gave 
information on painting. 

At this juncture, a friend of his, a young physi- 
cian, patiently waiting, like many others, for gray 
hairs, to entitle him to confidence, agreed " to sit 
for his likeness." Otis was in his glory, as, with a, 
painter's pencil, odds and ends of brushes, and the 
premises all to himself and his " subject," he com- 
menced his first portrait. It was, we presume, with 


some such feeling as that of an orator, making his 
debut, ; or of a general, about to fight his first bat- 
tle. The portrait was declared to be excellent, 
and to his gratification it was pronounced greatly 
superior to those painted by the professional artist. 
All the people in the village declared it was like 
life itself; and in truth there was no fear of his 
falling into the difficulty of a certain artist, who, 
having painted a horse, thought it necessary, for the 
information of people not judges of the fine arts, to 
inscribe underneath the animal, " This is a Horse." 

When of age, Mr. Bullard visited Massachusetts 
and Connecticut, where he found friends who gave 
him the requisite instruction. He then commenced 
business, as a portrait painter, at Hartford, where 
he met with good success. During several subse- 
quent years, he painted portraits in Massachusetts, 
and in the western part of the state of New York. 

In 1841, he married the eldest daughter of A. A. 
Olmstead, Esq., and, since the winter of 1843, he 
has made New York city his permanent place of 

Recently, his attention has been principally di- 
rected to illustrations of the manners and customs 
of American life, and to historical compositions. 
Among his latest productions are, " Judith in the 
tent of Holofernes," " Horse Trade," " Sam Slick," 
and the "Last Blanket." 

He is at present engaged upon several pieces of 
stirring incident in our own revolutionary history. 

In conclusion, we may safely say, that if he con- 
tinue his hard study and close application, there is 
no danger that the American school of painting will 
lose aught at his hands. 




" A fine Virginia gentleman, 
All of the olden time." 

The annexed outline sketch of Mr. Ritchie, al- 
though copied from a portrait taken when he was a 
younger man, will yet be recognized as a faithful 
delineation of his amiable physiognomy. 

It is scarcely necessary to refer to the past history 
of this veteran editor, who, for so long a period, 
so ably conducted the Enquirer, at Richmond, Vir- 
ginia, where, surrounded by his family, perhaps no 
man was ever more beloved and respected. 

Upon the retirement of Messrs. Blair & Rives, 
from the Globe, at Washington, Mr. Ritchie, with 
his business partner, Major Heiss, purchased the es- 
tablishment, and continued the paper, under the 
name of the Union. 

As generalissimo of the democratic party, Mr. 
Ritchie has had full employment for his energies, 
not only in looking after the enemy, but in recon- 
ciling sectional difficulties among his own forces. 
We will venture to say, that could he have formed 
but a faint idea of the boisterous nature of the ele- 
ments over which he was called to preside, he would 
have pondered long before leaving his former post. 
" Peace ! it is peace that the pure heart ever longs 
for; and in many spots fancy teaches us to believe 
it rests — the village, in its mantle of green trees — 
the cottage, with its humble thistle and curling 
smoke" — and even in the palace — but it seldom ho- 
vers over the chair of a political editor ! 



This well known artist, is a native of Hartford, 
Connecticut, from whence he removed to New York 
city, in 1824. In 1826, with a view to his profes- 
sional improvement, he went to London, where he 
closely pursued his studies in the various galleries 
and schools of art. He also visited the continent, 
with the same object in view, devoting a portion of 
his time to engraving. In addition to numerous 
plates of a private character, were several for the 
English annuals, which he executed in a style that 
could not be surpassed by any artist of that coun- 
try. Perhaps the admiring readers little thought 
that the artist was an American, or they would 
have held up their hands in astonishment, exclaim- 
ing, "How can such things be?" One or two 
others, of a larger size, were commenced, but were 
left unfinished, with the intention of returning to 
England to complete them; among them was a 
large plate from a picture of Leslie's, in the posses- 
sion of Lord Essex. 

After an absence of eleven years, Mr. Danforth, 
with a mind laden with the treasures of rich expe- 
rience, returned to the United States. 

Since that time, however, owing to a profitable 
connection with an establishment for bank note en- 
graving, Mr. Danforth has been unable to undertake 
any new work. It is understood, however, that it 
is his intention shortly to enter upon a more con- 
genial employment — that of engraving a series of 
American subjects, from the lamented Washington 
Allston's pictures and outline compositions. The 
latter, for several years before his death, was very 
solicitous to procure the services of our artist, and 
wrote to him many times on the subject, when Mr. 


: j 

Danforth was in Europe. On his return, the request 
was again pressed, which resulted in an agreement I 
to commence the work as soon as other engage- I 
ments would permit. But, although every facility 9 
and encouragement was offered, by a number of 9 
Boston gentlemen, who subscribed liberally to the 
amount of $10,000, Mr. Danforth has hitherto 
been prevented from devoting his attention to it. 
It is to be hoped, however, that these noble produc- 
tions of American genius, now appreciated in the 
old world, even more highly than in this country, 
will be clothed in an imperishable form. 

! ' 
^_ . . 


This illustrious man affords an additional instance 
of the success of well directed energy. He was 
born at Albemarle, Virginia, on the 2d of April, 
1745. At a very early age, he was left entirely to 
himself, with no friend or relative to whom he 
could apply for advice or instruction. Notwith- 
standing this difficulty, by his decision and energy 
of character, he soon secured the esteem of a great 
portion of the community among whom he resided. 
He graduated at William and Mary's college, and 
then studied law. While a student, he listened to 
the debate on Patrick Henry's resolution against the 
stamp act; and the difficulties with the mother 
country having already begun, he was henceforth a 
patriot and a politician. 

In 1801, having previously held high offices of 
trust and honor, this friendless boy was elected 
President of the United States. Having served two 
terms, he retired to private life. He died in the 
84th year of his age, July 4th, 1826, just fifty years 
from the declaration of independence. 



The Chinese tell of one of their countrymen who 
had been making strenuous efforts to acquire litera- 
ry information, but who, discouraged by difficulties, 
at length gave up his books in despair. As he re- 
turned to manual employment, he saw a woman 
rubbing a crowbar on a stone. On asking her the 
reason, she replied that she was in want of a needle, 
and thought she would rub down the crowbar till 
she had got it small enough. The patience of the 
aged female induced him to make another attempt, 
and he succeeded in attaining the rank of one of 
the three first men of the empire. 

Perhaps no man has exercised more patience or 
overcome greater difficulties in the acquisition of 
knowledge than the Hon. George D. Beers, a son 
of the Hon. Cyrus Beers, late member of congress 
from New York. He was born at Hobart, Delaware 
county, New York, in the year 1812, and shortly 
afterwards removed with his parents to Delhi, in the 
same county. Here, owing to the limited means 
of the family, George, at a tender age, was required 
to perform severe labor. When he was nine years 
of age, his parents removed to Walton, a distance 
of about eighteen miles. And although the ground 
was covered with snow, and the weather very se- 
vere, George had to walk the whole distance, driving 
a cow before him. The nearest school being at 
Delhi, he subsequently, for many weeks, walked 
that distance every Monday morning, returning on 
Saturday. How few youths of the present day, 
place a proper value upon the facilities for educa- 

After residing in other portions of Delaware coun- 
ty, Mr. Beers removed with his parents to Ithaca, 


New York. He then, amidst very great difficulties, 
studied law, and in his twenty-first year, after an 
honorable examination, he was admitted to practice 
in the supreme court. He now resolved to visit the 
far west, with the idea of "growing up" with the 
country, but while in Michigan, he was attacked 
by the cholera, and for a long time his life was 
despaired of. He at length, with a sad heart, and 
without money or friends, commenced his journey 
homewards. The hardships he underwent, and the 
sufferings he endured, can only be appreciated by 
those who have had the misfortune to be placed in 
similar circumstances. He finally, more dead than 
alive, arrived at Ithaca, where he slowly recovered. 
He then, without books or money, being at least 
two hundred dollars in debt, opened a law office. 
Circumstances more discouraging can scarcely be 
imagined. Bat his motto was "patience and per- 
severance," and by slow degrees he rose in the con- 
fidence of the people, many of whom were astonish- 
ed at the sound legal knowledge possessed by so 
young a man. By close attention to business, and 
an unswerving integrity, the sunshine of prosperity 
broke out upon him, and in a few years, he had 
entrusted to his care, many of the most important 
cases ever tried in the state. From poverty, he 
arose to the enjoyment of wealth, which was sweet- 
ened by the reflection that it was the fruit of his 
own labor. When he commenced practice, one of 
his rules was "not to speak fast, and never to lose 
his temper." Would that all other professional 
gentlemen would follow his example. 

In the course of a few years, so popular did he 
become in the community among whom he resided, 
that the man who, when a little boy, drove a cow 
through the snow for eighteen miles, was elected 
to the New York state senate. Of his course while 
in that body, it is unnecessary to speak. It will 
be sufficient to say, that he acquitted himself to the 


entire satisfaction of the respectable portion of his 
constituency and to the people at large. In this 
life, however, sunshine and shade continually alter- 
nate, and a short time ago, during his absence from 
home, he suddenly lost two interesting children, 
making the third death in his family within a very 
short period. 

When we behold the little one suffer for a short 
time, and then die, the mourning heart is some- 
times oppressed by the thought that springs up from 
within: Why is it so — why are these innocents 
thus brought into being to suffer awhile, and then 
fall to sleep in death? That such a circumstance 
can be reconciled with the goodness of the Creator, 
to us is evident — his care is over them, unseen, but 
near, and well he knew what hour was best to call 
them home. Omniscience, penetrating the dark 
future, could see what would be the fate of the 
child were it permitted to live — he could see the 
circumstances in which it would be placed, and his 
purposes did not ordain that it should perform an 
active part in the economy of things; he therefore 
sent his angels to take its little hands, and lead it 
to smile on death, and then enter amid the cherubic 
host of heaven. 

The spirit flies ; and lost in raptures dreaming, 
Through the blue brightness of yon starry dome, 

Will fancy picture holy harp strings breathing 
The songs of Zion in their blessed home. 

Mr. Beers has for many years been an active 
member of the Presbyterian church at Ithaca. 



This artist, a deaf mute from his hirth, was born 
at Philadelphia, June 15, 1813. His parents were 
poor, but highly respectable. His paternal grand- 
father, a British artillery officer, was captured at 
Stony Point by the chivalric Anthony Wayne. Af- 
ter an exchange of prisoners, being disgusted with 
British injustice and cruelty, Carlin came to the 
very reasonable conclusion, that it would be much 
'pleasanter to be his own captain. He accordingly 
deserted, and concealed himself in the woods of 
Pennsylvania. Here, amidst the embowered shades, 
he fell in love with, and finally married a fair 

And oft they met 
When winds sighed soft around the mountain's brow, 
And summer flowers with moonlight dews were wet, 
To breathe in some green walk their first young vow. 

In July, 1820, the subject of this sketch was ad- 
mitted to the Pennsylvania institution for the deaf 
and dumb, where the first germs of knowledge shot 
forth in his darkened mind. 

He has no recollection of the period when he first 
manifested a taste for drawing, but sometime prior 
to his entrance into the school, he was accustomed 
to trace with chalk, fantastical figures upon the 
floor, and which his mother would quickly deprive 
of their immortality by the application of the mop. 

On leaving the institution in 1826, with a refined 
taste and an ardent love of the arts, owing to the 
limited means of his father, our artist, to his great 
sorrow, was compelled for about two years, to toil 
for a scanty livelihood at house and sign painting. 
At the age of nineteen, as a matter of pure neces- 


sity, he commenced business on his own account, 
at Philadelphia. He constantly, however, devoted 
his spare hours to the study of the principles of 
drawing, and in copying on canvas, prints engraved 
from the works of the great historical painters. 

After overcoming many difficulties, Mr. Carlin 
saved money enough to enable him, in 1838, to visit r 
the old world, where he longed to drink in, at the 
fountain head, the wondrous beauties of the old 
masters. But like many of his ardent contempo- 
raries, to his great regret, he found that his funds 
were not sufficiently ample to meet unexpected but 
indispensable expenses, in so large a field of study. 
After spending some time in London, he proceeded 
to Paris, where he studied under the celebrated 

While in France Mr. Carlin had the good fortune 
to be present at the two magnificent funeral pro- 
cessions of the martyrs of 1830 and of Napoleon. 
During his sojourn too, he saw numerous instances 
of the difficulties under which foreign artists labor, 
who go to Paris without having previously studied 
the French language. On one occasion, in order 
to serve a young fellow countryman laboring under 
this disadvantage, Mr. Carlin acted in the capacity 
of translator of written communications between 
him and the French professor. The class thought 
it remarkably singular to see a deaf mute translating 
for a speaking person. 

A worthy friend, deeply interested in the welfare 
of Mr. Carlin, and knowing that pecuniary difficul- 
ties prevented his journey to Italy, introduced him 
to a rich Virginia gentleman. The latter expressed 
a desire to facilitate the accomplishment of the 
cherished object, and bidding our artist to be of 
good cheer, promised to furnish him with a thousand 
francs per year for three years, during the prosecu- 
tion of his studies in Italy. He also requested him 
to get ready in a few weeks. This, thought our 


artist, was good fortune indeed, and his soul glowed 
with bright anticipations. He immediately com- 
menced the study of the Italian language, and he 
was congratulated by his friends upon his smiling 
prospects. Meanwhile the Virginian had been 
obliged to go to England, but he had apprised Mr. 
Carlin that he would shortly receive such orders 
from agents in Italy as would enable him to pro- 
ceed to that country. Week after week, however, 
passed away, and no order came. Hope, with her 
silver tongue, said it would come the next week, 
the next month, but it came not, although the ex- 
pectant waited with an aching heart. At length, 
after waiting for more than a year, his spirits sank 
within him, and no pen can describe his anguish 
of soul. In his case was a powerful exemplification 
of the fact, that "Hope deferred maketh the heart 
sick." Under these circumstances, painting became 
an object of aversion, and Mr. Carlin returned with- 
out ambition, to the United States. Here he re- 
solved to abandon his profession, but ex-Governor 
Seward, the late Col. Stone, and other sympathizing 
friends dissuaded him, and urged him still to paint. 
At length, after experiencing a severe struggle with 
poverty, he came to the conclusion that he would 
paint miniatures only, and that for a livelihood. 
This he soon found much more profitable than either 
historical or portrait painting, and in New York 
city, where he is permanently settled, he is now 
well patronized in this humble but beautiful art. 

In December, 1843, he married Miss Mary Way- 
land, a former pupil of the New York institution for 
the deaf and dumb. They are blessed with two 
sweet children, who, contrary to what might have 
been the opinion of certain thick headed philoso- 
phers, are neither deaf nor dumb. 

In addition to his artistical merits, Mr. Carlin is 
a poet of no mean pretensions, as his numerous 
published pieces well prove 



Was born at Winchester, Connecticut, on the 9th 
of April, 1798. His father was a farmer, in very 
moderate circumstances. Arphaxad was the fifth. 
son, and from the time his father removed with his 
family to Herkimer county, New York, until his 
fourteenth year, he was accustomed to steady ser- 
vice on the farm. He enjoyed, however, the usual 
opportunities afforded to boys in the country, of at- 
tending the common school, and which he improv- 
ed to good advantage. When fourteen years of 
age, his father hired him out as the teacher of a 
common school, seven or eight miles from home. 
He was then quite small of his age. His agree- 
ment was six dollars per month, and to "board 
round." He subsequently, for several successive 
years, taught school in the winters, and during the 
summers he attended the academy at Fairfield, 
Herkimer county, paying his tuition by his winter 
earnings. According to the common practice of 
that institution, he lived in his room, at the acade- 
my, upon his own food, a week's supply of which 
he was accustomed to carry from his father's house, 
a distance of four miles, every Monday morning. 
He also wore the home-made garments of his fa- 
ther's household. It was understood, however, that 
he was not to be a burden to the family, even to 
this extent, and accordingly, his winter's earnings 
were, with the exception of "tuition," and "book- 
money," regularly paid over to his father, as an 
equivalent for his supplies. He was very desirous 
of going through a collegiate course, but his re- 
sources would not permit the gratification of this 

In 1818, he entered his name as a student in a 


law office at Johnstown, Montgomery county. At 
the end of three months, however, his funds be- 
came exhausted, and he was compelled once more 
to commence teaching". Although he sometimes 
brooded in deep despondency over his want of 
means to prosecute his legal studies, he was deter- 
mined not to "give up." Having heard that a 
teacher of his acquirements might probably find 
good employment at Watertown, Jefferson county, 
he borrowed ten dollars of his father, and on the 20th 
of December, 1818, he started on foot, with a knap- 
sack on his back, over the bleak hills and frozen 
ground. Owing to the extreme cold, which hap- 
pened to set in about that time, the journey proved 
a very severe one, and to that he attributes his im- 
paired hearing. 

At Watertown, he obtained employment in the 
district school. Here, also, he entered a law office, 
and pursued his legal studies. At the end of three 
months, he obtained sufficient law business to ena- 
ble him forever to relinquish the school room, and 
to continue his studies without further interruption. 
He completed them at Sacketts Harbor, in January, 
1825, and took his license as attorney at law. He 
spent the two succeeding years in practising in the 
office where he finished his course. A part of the 
third year was spent in a journey through the south- 
western states, with a vague notion that he would 
locate himself in a new country, and "grow up with 
it." He visited Gen. Jackson, and saw all the 
lions in his way. He found the country, however, 
too " new" for his taste, and returned to his father's 
house, exhausted in funds, and in feeble health. 
After recruiting himself to some extent, he finally 
located at Little Falls, Herkimer county, his present 
residence. He there devoted himself to the prac- 
tice of his profession, with considerable success. 

In February, 1828, he was appointed surrogate of 
Herkimer county, which office he held until 1837. 


In the winter of 1834, his name was sent to the 
senate, by Gov. Marcy, for the office of circuit 
judge ; but, owing to an apprehension that his de- 
fective hearing would interfere with the proper dis- 
charge of the duties, the nomination was subse- 
quently withdrawn. On that occasion he received 
complimentary letters from all the democratic sena- ' 
tors, assuring him that nothing but the said impe- 
diment had induced them to advise the substitution 
of another person. 

During the spring of the same year, Gov. Marcy 
appointed him on the commission, with Messrs. 
Elisha Litchfield and Eli Moore, to investigate the 
subject of mechanical labor in the state prisons; 
also, the prison policy and discipline. After a most 
laborious investigation, a report and bill, both 
drawn up by Mr. Loomis, were submitted to the 
legislature, in 1835, on which the law of the year 
was based. This had the effect of subduing the 
prevailing excitement for several years, when the 
continual disregard of the regulations, by the exec- 
utive officers of the prisons, caused the mechanical 
interests in the state to renew the complaint. 

In the fall of 1836, Mr. Loomis was elected a re- 
presentative in congress, and took his seat at the 
first session under Mr. Van Buren's administration. 
During the long session of 1837-8, he was a mem- 
ber of the committee on private land claims, and 
his labors were so severe as to seriously impair his 
health. The following- session he served on the 
committee on public lands, where he also found 
that there was work to do. While on the latter 
committee, he strenuously exerted himself to pre- 
pare the way for the sale of lands to actual settlers 
only, and at a very moderate price, believing then, 
as now, that all other sales are detrimental to the 
public interest. He also exerted himself in favor 
of postage reform, and the regulation of the frank- 
ing privilege, and with this object he introduced 


many resolutions of inquiry into the existing abuses, 
and which had the effect of hastening the subse- 
quent action of congress on those subjects. 

On the 1st of January, 1841, Mr. Loomis took his 
seat in the New York legislature, as a representa- 
tive of Herkimer county. Here, entertaining strong 
convictions of the great evils of a public debt, and 
thinking that he perceived a strong tendency to 
create debts, and in many cases from selfish mo- 
tives, it occurred to him that these tendencies might 
be lessened, if not entirely obviated, by preventing 
any public debt, unless sanctioned by the direct 
vote of the people themselves. In addition to giv- 
ing his views through the press, on the 14th of 
January, 1841, he introduced a resolution to amend 
the constitution, so as to restrain the legislature 
from borrowing money, or creating any public debt, 
except to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or to 
defend the state in war, unless authorized by a di- 
rect vote of the electors, at a general election. This 
proposition was approved by most of the democratic 
papers in New York, and other states. Many of 
the editors kept it at the head of their columns for 
months. Although the resolution was not carried, 
yet its frequent repetition by him, during succeed- 
ing sessions, resulted, in the convention of 1846, of 
which Mr. Loomis was an active member, in its 

Of the arduous labors of Mr. Loomis, as chair- 
man of the judiciary committee, in the legislature, 
and of his eminent services as a member of the 
convention, and which seriously injured his health, 
our limits will not permit us to speak. It will be 
sufficient to say, that a more devoted public servant 
cannot be found. 

We have thus seen that this youth, who, in a 
severe winter, and with a sad heart, left his home, 
with his knapsack on his shoulder, to seek a situa- 
tion as a teacher, by adhering to his motto of " ne- 


ver give up," has overcome formidable obstacles, 
become an eminent lawyer, and filled some of the 
most honorable offices in the country, with credit 
to himself, and to the entire satisfaction of his con- 


The early history of the newspaper press in Alba- 
ny, is involved in obscurity. From a paper fur- 
nished (by Joel Munsell, Esq., of Albany) to the com- 
mittee of the late printers' festival, held at Roches- 
ter, it appears that the first printing presses in Al- 
bany, respecting which any authentic information 
can now be gathered, was established by Alexander 
and James Robinson, who came from New York for 
that purpose, about the year 1770, which, until then, 
was the only place in the colony where printing had 
been introduced. Their paper, called the Albany 
Gazette, was continued but for a few years, as, in 
1776, the publishers joined the royalists in New 
York; and on the evacuation of that city by the 
British, they took refuge in Nova Scotia, at Port 
Rose way, where Alexander died in 1784, aged 42. 

In May, 1782, Messrs. Solomon Ballantine and 
Charles R. Webster published the first number of 
a paper called the New York Gazetteer, or Northern 
Intelligencer. The office file of this paper was de- 
stroyed by the great fire of 1793, and the only copies 
known to exist, are a few scattering numbers, pre- 
served by the Rev. E. Westerlo, and presented by 
his son, Rensselaer Westerlo, Esq. The advertise- 
ment issued by the publishers, was unique, both as 
a specimen of literature and typography. The fol- 
lowing is an extract : 


" To the Inhabitants of the CITY of ALBANY, and the Adja 
cent COUNTRY round about. 

The o-reat usefulness and many benefits arising from a weekly 
NEWSPAPER are so obvious, and universally known, that they 
scarcely need to be mentioned. 

It points out to the Poor Man where to go and lay out his Pen- 
ny to the best Advantage. 

It brings Customers to the Mechanic's Shop. 

It crowds the Merchant's store with Chaps !" &c, &c. 

In 1784, the paper was enlarged, and the title 
changed to the Albany Gazette, published by Mr. 
Webster alone. The first number contains an ex- 
tract from the city ordinances, for regulating the 
ferry — the first item of which is: 

" For transporting every person across, except a 
sucking child, 2 coppers." 

And further on, conspicuously inserted, is the 
following advertisement : 

"Q^-A very likely young wench for sale. In- 
quire of Philip Cuyler." 

The first regular bookstore, says Mr. Munsell, of 
which I can learn any thing, was that of" William 
Falconer & Co., No. 4 Court street, opposite the 
Dutch church;" although, at the same time, Mr. 
Webster, the printer, was dealing, in a small way, 
in books and stationery, as were also the principal 
merchants, whose stock consisted principally of 
Bibles and school books, which were fantastically 
arranged, in their advertisements, with " Red China 
Tea Pots, and Tobacco Boxes." For instance, 
Daniel Hale has these two lines in juxtaposition in 
his advertisement: 

Blank Books, Psalms, and Spelling Books, 
Pewter Dishes, Basons, Plates and Mugs. 

In 1788, Mr. John Barber commenced the pub- 
lication of the Albany Register, as a republican 
paper, Mr. Webster having identified himself with 
the federal party. Another paper, called the Fede- 
ral Herald, was also published during the year, by 


Claxton & Babcock. In 1796, a third paper, called 
the Albany Centinel, was published by Loring An- 
drews. It was continued ten years, when it passed 
into other hands, and was called the Republican 
Crisis. The Crisis was afterwards published in 
1807, by Isaac Mitchell, and in 1803, by Croswell 
& Tracy. In 1809, the Balance took its place, by 
Harry Croswell, at the end of which year it was 

In the spring of 1809, the Gazette began to report 
the proceedings of the legislature. In 1812, a new 
democratic paper appeared, in opposition to the Re- 
gister, called the Albany Republican, by Samuel R. 
Brown. In 1^13, Mr. Jesse Buel commenced the 
publication of the Albany Argus, semi-weekly, at $3 
a year. It was the organ of the Tompkins division 
of the democratic party. At the end of the half 
year, the subscription was 4000, being a thousand 
greater than that of any other paper in the state. 
The Argus was first published daily in 1825, by 
Croswell, Barnum & Van Benthuysen. 

The first daily paper, however, was the Daily Ad- 
vertiser, which was commenced in 1815, by Theo- 
dore Dwight, and was discontinued in 1845. 

It was in 1828, that Thurlow Weed, Esq., com- 
menced the Albany Evening Journal, as the organ 
of the anti-masonic party in the state of New York. 
He is, we believe, a native of the state of New York; 
and, by a reference to the biography of the Hon. 
James Harper, it will be seen that Mr. Weed is the 
architect of his own fortune, he having, some thir- 
ty years ago, been a fellow journeyman printer, (in 
the office of Jonathan Seymour,) with the great 
publisher, in New York city. 

In April, 1818, Mr. Weed was united in marriage 
with Miss Catharine Ostrander, by whom he has 
had several children. 

A few years ago, Mr. Weed, for the benefit of his 
health, traveled through a considerable portion of 


Europe. His letters from abroad were replete with 
interest, and contained much valuable information. 

The writer never, to his knowledge, saw Mr. 
Weed, or had any correspondence with him ; but 
he can with confidence assert, that as a citizen, the 
conductor of the Journal is highly respected by the 
community among whom he dwells. 

Mr. Weed is probably fifty years of age, and it is 
really wonderful that in these days of high-pressure 
party excitement, a political editor should so long 
survive. There are but few roses mingled with the 
many thorns which bestrew his path. Like a man 
placed in the pillory, a party editor is made the butt 
of all sorts of people, and doomed to be struck by 
every missile; and, aside from the necessary labor 
and anxiety which must ever attend so responsible 
a station, he is ever liable to have his conduct mis- 
represented, and his motives impugned, without 
being allowed the privilege of vindicating his own 
character. If, says an able writer, you would live 
in quiet — if you would die in peace, at a good old 
age, smother the first buddings of ambition, and 
"shun all connection with the political press." 

The editorial career of Mr. Weed has been one 
of almost unparalleled success, in the annals of 
newspaper printing, having enriched his publishers, 
and secured to himself, by the office of state printer, 
which he held during Gov. Seward's administra- 
tion, a comfortable competence. He is now one 
of the proprietors, as well as editor, of the Journal. 
Unlike many others who have risen from obscurity 
\6 honorable positions, Mr. Weed has a heart capa- 
ble of sympathizing with the unfortunate, and may 
be justly called — " The poor man's friend." 



There are few more remarkable instances of the 
triumph of perseverance over difficulties, than that 
afforded by the career of the Hon. Cyrus Beers. 

He was born at Newtown, Connecticut, on the 
21st of June, 1786, and is the son of Hannah and 
David Beers. Owing to the poverty of the family, 
Cyrus never received any school education, except 
at short intervals, in the winters, previous to his 
tenth year. In addition to this, his father was one 
of that numerous class who exercise no government 
over their children, so that his son was left entirely 
to himself, which proved a great disadvantage to 
him in after life. At the age of twenty-five, Mr. 
Beers married Miss Phebe Gregory, a sister of Rice 
Gregory, M. D., of Hobart, Delaware county. He 
had previously opened a store at the latter place, in 
which he had invested the avails of the hard earn- 
ings of many years of patient industry, amounting, 
probably, to $4000. In a few months after his 
marriage, however, he lost the whole of his proper- 
ty by fire, and, with the best years of his life gone 
by, had to commence the world anew. It was a 
sad trial, and one which would have prostrated the 
energy of many. But he was not the man to "give 
up the ship ;" so in good earnest he set to work, 
and in about five years he had realized nearly the 
full amount of his loss. But his troubles were not 
over. Being tempted into a lumber speculation, 
which he prosecuted for a considerable period, he, by 
a course of events which no human foresight could 
have guarded against, not only lost his own, but 
several thousands more, which he had procured on 
credit, together with ten years of incessant labor 


and anxiety. In addition to this, the busy tongue 
of slander was at work, and he had to endure the 
scoffs and sneers of those who had escaped similar 
misfortune. Thus it is, instead of " mourning with 
those that mourn," and whispering the blessed 
words of sympathy to the troubled and cast down, 
man is ever ready to insult the unfortunate. But, 

Hope reigns eternal in the human breast ; 

and yet a third time did Mr. Beers brace himself 
up against the storm. He obtained a situation as 
clerk, at a dollar a day, out of which, for some 
years, he managed to support his family and edu- 
cate his children. The assertion of holy writ, that 
" diligence maketh rich," he found true as ever, 
and by degrees the sunshine burst from behind the 
dark clouds, and Mr. Beers became one of the 
wealthiest men in Ithaca, New York, where he has 
for many years resided. 

In November, 1838, Mr. Beers was elected a re- 
presentative in congress. While in that body, he 
was truly a working, instead of a talking, member. 
"When he took his seat, he saw that there was a 
great want of " good listeners" and while others 
were quibbling about trifles, and talking by the 
hour, upon abstract questions, he joined himself to 
the "bees," and rendered essential service to the 
country, by bringing the fruits of his valuable ex- 
perience to bear upon questions of vital importance 
to the working classes. His impaired health, how- 
ever, induced him to decline a renomination. He 
is, we believe, an extensive land holder, and his 
time, of late years, has been entirely devoted to the 
management of his estates. His plans are all laid 
with skill, and pursued with energy, and he has 
ever displayed the most unwearied perseverance 
in pursuit of laudable objects, under difficulties 
which would have borne down many other men 
How true it is, that talent, when thus allied with 


patient energy and persevering industry, will not 
fail to insure ultimate success to its possessor. 

Mr. Beers has two sons, the eldest of whom was 
very recently a member of the New York state 
senate — the other has obtained considerable cele- 
brity as a financier. 


Left, at the age of twelve years, a destitute or- 
phan, without friends or resources of any kind, other 
than such as nature had bestowed upon him, in the 
inappreciable blessing of a sound and vigorous con- 
stitution, he commenced the work of self-education 
in the stern school of adversity, and progressed, 
step by step, with an unfaltering determination, 
and an unyielding energy, until he found himself 
in the higher walks of honorable usefulness. 

Solomon Southwick was born at Newport, Rhode 
Island, on the 25th of September, 1773. His father 
was one of the earliest and most efficient cham- 
pions in that gallant struggle for the rights of the 
colonists, which eventuated in the war of the revo- 
lution. His son, the subject of this sketch, com- 
menced his career while yet a mere boy, as cook 
for a fishing company bound for Cape Cod. After 
enduring, for several months, the hardships and pri- 
vations incident to such a station, he returned to 
Newport, and apprenticed himself to a baker, in his 
native town. He afterwards went as a common 
sailor, on board a coasting vessel, when he appren- 
ticed himself in a printing establishment in the 
city of New York. From thence he was transferred, 
as a journeyman in the office of the Albany Regis- 


ter, then conducted by his brother-in-law, Mr. Bar- 
ber. On x the death of the latter, in 1808, Mr. South- 
wick succeeded to his interest in the paper. He 
continued in charge of the Register for nearly thirty 
years, during which period he held many honora- 
ble offices in the state. He subsequently took 
charge of the National Democrat. During the pre- 
valence of the anti-masonic excitement, he estab- 
lished and conducted the National Observer, the 
prominent organ of anti-masonry. He was soon 
afterwards nominated as the candidate of that 
party, for the chief magistracy. Failing of success, 
however, and disgusted with the vexations of po- 
litical strife, he withdrew from public life, and wise- 
ly sought happiness in the domestic and social cir- 
cle. The remainder of his life was devoted to 
study and contemplation, to the welcome enjoy- 
ments of the family fireside, and to the dissemina- 
tion of moral, religious, and intellectual truth. 

Suddenly, in the midst of his usefulness, and in 
the full maturity of his intellectual powers, he was 
arrested by the hand of death, on the 18th of No- 
vember, 1839. He was attacked by an affection of 
the heart, which, in about fifteen minutes, termin- 
ated fatally. 



Is a resident of the city of New York, and a dis- 
tinguished member of the bar of that city. He was 
born on the 26th of February, 1793, at Miller's 
Place, a beautiful village in the town of Brookha- 
veil, Long Island. Of the family from which he is 
descended, a passing notice will here be given. 

It being one of the purposes of this work to re- 
cord and illustrate such ancestral reminiscences of 
the biographical subject, as will be' gratifying to the 
descendants, and interesting to general readers — it 
will not, therefore, be out of place, if a few pages be 
devoted to a narrative sketch of Mr. Woodhull's an- 
cestors, who have attained a high social position — 
and some of them distinguished historic mention — 
in the annals both of this country and Great Brit- 
ain; and of whom a geneological record has been 
preserved, registering their line of descent from the 
time of William the Conqueror. In this country — 
where no law perpetuates titled or ancestral dis- 
tinctions to a privileged few, where there is no no- 
bility, except for those who win and maintain it by 
their own efforts; where no honors are hereditary, 
but belong only to those who are successful in the 
free strife to attain them — it will not be supposed 
that any one would claim consideration for himself, 
in consequence of the merits of those who have pre- 
ceded him. Here, where the accident of birth does 
not confer office or power, he who may have passed 
through life with honors from his fellow men, must 
have risen to his position by virtue of his own me- 
rits and talent. Whether born of obscure or emi- 
nent parents, every person must be the architect of 
his own fortune. An humble origin is no bar to 
one's elevation in life — neither does distinguished 


birth secure to one either wealth, honor, or respect, 
In giving, then, an account of the ancestors of the 
subject of this memoir, no other object is held in 
view than that of illustrating the deeds of one 
who was a prominent actor in the early scenes of 
the American revolution — of rescuing from oblivion 
some of the untold events of our history, and of 
placing on the convenient and permanent record of 
print, a family chronicle ; which, whatever of inte- 
rest it may possess for the general reader, will also 
be of inestimable value to the very numerous and 
highly respectable living connexions and descend- 
ants, of the ancestry thus preservingly chronicled. 

From a register of the family, it appears that the 
original progenitor of the Woodhulls was Walteras 
Flanderemis, who accompanied William the Con- 
queror, in his invasion of England, in the year 
1066. It is probable, as his name would seem to 
indicate, that he was a Flemish soldier, and also 
that he was a person of some consideration, for his 
son Walter was made baron of Wahull. The es- 
tates and title of the barony regularly descended 
from father to son, until John, in the sixth genera- 
tion, dying without issue, was succeeded by his 
sisters — first Rosea, and then Agnes- — the latter of 
whom, having been married to Robert Bassingham, 
left her son John as heir, who became baron of 
Wahull. In the seventeenth generation, the inhe- 
ritance fell in a collateral branch of the family, 
whose name was Nicholas Wodhull, and who 
changed the title to that of the baron of Wodhull. 
Thenceforward the succession continued in the line 
of the Wodhulls. 

The first American ancestor, of the family in this 
country, was Richard Wodhull, a great-grandson 
of Nicholas, the twenty-second baron of Wodhull, 
who lived at about the close of the sixteenth cen- 
tury. Richard Wodhull was born at Therford, 
Northamptonshire, Sept. 13, 1620. His zeal in the 



cause of English liberty induced him to join the 
party of Cromwell, whose probable downfall, or at 
least uncertain fate, may have had an influence in 
causing him to leave his country, and to seek the 
security and freedom of an abode in the western 
world. The precise time of Mr. Wodhull's arrival 
in this country is not known; but, in 1655, or 1656, 
he appears as one of the original purchasers and 
settlers of the plantation of Setauket, on Long Island. 
This plantation, which extended across the island, 
was, on the possession of New York, by the English, 
in 1664, called Brookhaven, while the name of Se- 
tauket was confined to the village of the first settle- 
ment. It is supposed that he arrived in this coun- 
try in 1648, and his name was associated with the 
settlers of Jamaica. In 1659, Setauket sought the 
protection of the general court of Hartford, which 
appointed Mr. Wodhull the first of two magistrates 
over the plantation. His skill in the art of survey- 
ing, and his knowledge of the principles of law, and 
legal forms of business, rendered his services par- 
ticularly valuable to the colonists, and his name is 
found associated with all the more important trans- 
actions of the town. He was entrusted to purchase 
the southern part of the town, on behalf of the peo- 
ple. A letter is now in possession of his descend- 
ants, written to him, in 1687, by his kinsman, Lord 
Crew, bishop of Durham, who gives some account 
of the relatives he had left behind him. He died 
in 1721, aged eighty-eight. His name was Nicho- 
las Wodhull. Lord Crew also presented to him the 
crest and arms of the family, whose heraldic signs 
are emblematic of a long catalogue of chivalric vir- 
tues. Michael Wodhull, -an ingenious writer, and 
the translator of Euripides, was educated at Brazen 
Noze college, and died at Therford, his native place, 
in 1816, at the age of seventy-six. 

Mr. Wodhull died at Setauket, in 1690, leaving 
his eldest son Richard heir, who was also a magis- 


trate. His other son, Nathaniel, who died without 
issue, and his daughter Deborah was married to 
Capt. John Lawrence, of Newtown. 

The second Richard was married to Temperance, 
daughter of Rev. Jonah Fordham, of Southampton. 
During his life time the orthography of the name 
was changed to that of Woodhull. He died in 1699, 
leaving his children, Richard, Nathaniel, John, Jo- 
siah, Dorothy and Temperance. John settled at 
Wading river, and had issue — John, whose children 
were, James, Josiah, John and William; the latter 
of whom married Elizabeth, daughter of Phillips 

The third Richard married Mary, daughter of 
John Homan, of the same town, and died in 1767, 
leaving Richard, Mary, John, Nathan, Stephen, 
Henry, and Phoebe. Mary was married to Jona- 
than Thompson, and Benjamin F. Thompson, au- 
thor of the History of Long Island, is their grand- 
son.^ Nathan married Joanna Mills, and died a 
merchant, at Setauket, in 1804, leaving Nathan, Na- 
thaniel, David, Sarah, and Phoebe. Nathan gradu- 
ated at Yale college, in 1775, at the age of twenty- 
three. He married Hannah, daughter of Stephen 
J agger, of Westhampton, and settled as a farmer at 
Southold. Subsequently he studied theology, and 
was ordained in that parish, in April, 1785, but re- 
moved, in 1789, to Newtown, where he died, pastor 
of that church, in March, 1810. Nathaniel married 
Rebecca, daughter of Joseph Brewster, and their 
children were, Nathan, Samuel, Richard, Rebecca, 
and Hannah. David married Irena, daughter of 
Rev. Noah Wetmore, and died at Newtown. Sarah 
was married to Selah Strong, a merchant, of New 
York, and their children were, Benjamin, James, 

* To the very excellent work of Mr. Thompson, which -is an 
invaluable contribution to the history of New York, and of our 
country, we are indebted for the princinal materials of the sketch 
of Mr. WoodhulPs ancestors. 


Henry, Julia, Anne, and Charlotte. Phoebe was 
married to Jacob Van Brunt, and their children 
were, John and Sarah. Stephen, fourth son of the 
third Richard, married Hannah, daughter of Abra- 
ham Cooper, of Southampton, and their children 
were, John, Cooper, Hannah, and Sarah. Of these, 
John married Catharine Smith ; Hannah was mar- 
ried to Ebenezer Smith; and Cooper married Sarah, 
daughter of Dr. Gilbert Smith. 

The fourth Richard married Margaret, daughter 
of Ed mind Smith, of Smithtown, and was a very 
useful man, having, as had also his ancestors, filled 
during the greater portion of his life, the office of 
magistrate. He died in 1788, leaving Susanna, 
Richard, Mary, Adam, and Abraham. Mary was 
married to Amos Underhill, and their daughter Mar- 
garet to Oliver Coles. To Abraham was devised 
most of his father's estate at Setauket. He was for 
many years a magistrate, and from 1799 to 1810, 
first judge of the county. During the revolution, a 
secret correspondence was for a long period carried 
on between him and Major Tallmadge, for the pur- 
pose of affording important aid and information to 
Gen. Washington. He was married first to Mary, 
daughter of Obadiah Smith, of Smithtown; and se- 
cond, to Lydia Terry. He died in 1826, leaving 
Elizabeth, Mary, and Jesse ; the latter of whom 
died in 1840, leaving the original ancestral es- 
tate at Setauket, to his son, who is still the occu- 

The fifth Richard married Sarah Miller, of Miller's 
Place, and died in 1774, leaving Richard, Sarah, 
Dorothy and Julia. 

The sixth Richard M. Woodhull, was a merchant 
in the city of New York, where he died. His only 
son, Maxwell Woodhull, is a lieutenant in the 

General Nathaniel, a distinguished actor in the 
scenes of the revolution, was a great-grandson 


of the first American ancestor. His father, Na- 
thaniel, was the second son of the second Richard, 
and he settled upon lands devised to him at Mastic, 
in the south shire of Brookhaven. He married Sa- 
rah, daughter of the second Richard Smith, of 
Smithtown, and died in 1760, leaving- Hannah, 
Temperance, Nathaniel, Dorothy, Sarah, Richard, 
Ruth, Jesse, Juliana, Deborah, and Ebenezer. Of 
these, Jesse and Ebenezer settled in Orange county, 
New York, where they left families of children. 
Richard, born in 1729, graduated at Yale college, in 
1752, and was for several years tutor in that insti- 
tution. He had a high reputation for his attain- 
ments in classical learning, and was particularly 
distinguished in the department of mathematics. 
His adoption of the theological opinions of the Rev. 
Robert Sandeman, led to his separation from the 
college. He married first, Elizabeth Mix; and se- 
cond, Rebecca Carr, of Boston. His only daughter 
was married to Jehu Brainard, Esq., of New Haven. 
He died in 1797. 

General Nathaniel Woodhull was born at Mastic 
on the 30th of December, 1722. His early life was 
passed with his father, in the cultivation of the farm, 
which he afterwards inherited, and his education 
was adapted to fit him for the active duties of life. 
He was married, in 1761, to Ruth, daughter of Ni- 
coll Floyd, and sister of Gen. William Floyd. 

During the French war, as it is termed, he enter- 
ed the army, and, having received the commission 
of major, in the provincial forces of New York, he 
was engaged under Gen. Abercrombie, in his dar- 
ing assault on Ticonderoga, in the year 1758. On 
the 27th of August, a combined attack on the fort 
was made both by land and water, and an import- 
ant command of the forces, in boats, was committed 
to Major Wood hull, with orders to receive the fire 
of the fort without returning it, until he should have 
approached to within close quarters. This order 


was executed with bravery and skill, and contribut- 
ed materially to a reduction of the fort, which soon 
surrendered with its large armament and stores, and 
nine armed vessels of war. The following year he 
was actively engaged in the campaign, and in 1760 
was promoted to the rank of colonel, commanding 
the third regiment of New York provincials. In 
the same year he marched under General Amherst 
against Montreal; and, on the final reduction of 
Canada, and the capitulation of the French general 
on the 8th of September, he returned with his troops 
to New York, and retired to private life, on his farm 
at Mastic. 

Col. Woodhull was not suffered to remain long: 
in the quiet shades of his retirement. He was soon 
called forth to take an active part in the eventful 
scenes of the contest now begun between the colo- 
nies and Great Britain. In December^ 1768, the 
assembly of New York passed an unanimous re- 
solution, that no tax could or ought to be imposed on 
the colonists, except by their own consent; that the 
privileges of the legislature could not be annulled, 
abridged, or suspended, and that they had a right to 
consult with the other colonies, in defence of their 
own liberties. In consequence of this bold posi- 
tion, the governor, Sir Henry Moore, dissolved the 
assembly, on the 2d of January, 1769. This arbi- 
trary act aroused the spirit of the people, and an 
election for new members took place in the spring 
of that year, at which Col. Woodhull and William 
Nicoll were returned from the county of Suffolk. 
For the following six years, during which the colo- 
nists acknowledged the royal authority, Col. Wood- 
hull remained a member of that body, and was con- 
stant in his devotion to the rights of the people, and 
his opposition to the encroachments of British 

Col. Woodhull was next elected a member of the 
convention which met in the city of New York, on 


the 10th of April, 1775-6, to choose delegates to the 
continental congress. 

On the 22d of May, in the same year, the first 
provincial congress of New York assembled in the 
city of New York, and, from the time of its organ- 
ization, practically asserted and maintained its 
right to the entire sovereignty, and in effect sus- 
pended the royal authority. Col. Woodhull was a 
member of this body, and was at the head of the Suf- 
folk delegation. On the 22d of August, the militia 
of the colony having been organized by the congress 
into brigades, each of which to be commanded by 
a brigadier-general and a major of brigade, Col. 
Woodhull was appointed brigadier-general of the 
brigade composed of the militia of Suffolk and 
Queens county. On the 28th of the same month, 
he was elected president of the congress. This body 
not deeming itself clothed with power to erect a 
new form of government, entirely independent of 
all foreign control, in accordance with the request 
of the continental congress, on the 31st of May, 
1776, called on the electors to choose a new con- 
gress, or give to the present one enlarged powers. 
The new powers were given, and the second pro- 
vincial congress assembled at White Plains, on the 
9th of July, when Gen. Woodhull was again chosen 
president. In the continental congress, the New 
York delegation, fettered by instructions given 
twelve months previously, when a hope of recon- 
ciliation was yet cherished, had been unable to 
vote for the declaration of independence. Accord- 
ingly, the first act of the provincial congress was an 
unanimous adoption of the declaration on behalf 
of the people of New York. On the next day the 
congress assumed the title of" The Representatives 
of the State of New York." The convention was 
soon after transferred to Harlem, and on the 10th 
of August, General Woodhull obtained temporary 
leave of absence, in order to attend to some affairs 


at home. Abraham Yates was made president pro 
tempore, during the absence of Mr. Woodhull. 

Gen. Howe having landed on Long Island, on the 
22d of August, and two regiments of the Long Island 
militia, under Cols. Smith and Rem sen, being with- 
in the lines at Brooklyn, the convention, on the 
24th, ordered Gen. Woodhull, with one-half of the 
Suffolk regiment and the militia of Queens county, 
to advance into the western part of the latter coun- 
ty, and deprive the invading foe of supplies, by re- 
moving the cattle and grain in the vicinity, and 
thus compel the British to abandon the island. 
These orders were immediately conveyed by express 
to Gen. Woodhull, who at once repaired to Jamaica, 
which place he reached on Sunday, the following 
day. Without delay he apprized the convention of 
his arrival, and awaited the assembling of the 
troops he was to command. But he was doomed 
to meet with delay and disappointment. The con- 
vention was fully aware of the insufficiency of the 
force he might be able to raise. The inhabitants 
of Suffolk county, capable of bearing arms, were 
almost entirely occupied in preventing or resisting 
depredations along their extensive line of exposed 
coast. In Queens county, a majority of the people 
were tories, and in the preceding year, by means of 
arms obtained from the Asia man-of-war, had pre- 
vented an election of delegates to the provincial 
congress; and a military intervention, under au- 
thority of the continental congress, had been estab- 
lished, to deprive the tories of their weapons, and 
to secure to the whigs the freedom of election. Such 
being the condition of the country, but few troops 
could be- raised, notwithstanding the resolutions of 
the convention required the officers of Queens 
county, to call out all the militia of that county, to- 
gether with the troop of horse ; and, if necessary, 
to call on the troop of horse in Kings county to join 
them. Accordingly, on the 28th, the day after his 


arrival at Jamaica, Gen. Woodhull having muster- 
ed his troops, had obtained but one hundred men 
from Suffolk, and forty from Queens county, and 
but fifty of the troops of horse from Queens and 
Kings county. With this command, small as it 
was, he did not hesitate to advance immediately, 
and attempt, with such unequal means, the execu- 
tion of his orders. The convention, aware of the 
inefficiency of this force, had, on this day, applied 
to Gen. Washington to allow the regiments of Cols. 
Smith and Remsen, to join their brigade under Gen. 
Woodhull. Gen. Washington replied that he would 
give immediate orders to that effect; and, on the 
same day, the 26th, this answer was communicated 
to Gen. Woodhull, by the convention, with the ex- 
pressed anticipation that the letter and the rein- 
forcement would reach him at the same time. Un- 
der the supposition that the two regiments had 
joined him, the convention gave him instructions to 
take an advanced position, " for preventing the in- 
cursions and depredations of the enemy." It has 
been supposed, however, that these instructions did 
not reach him until the following day, after the 
battle of Long Island, when he had retired to Ja- 
maica. The promised regiments were not sent to 
Gen. Woodhull ; Washington and his officers sub- 
sequently decided that they could not safely be 
spared from the lines. Gen. Woodhull was not, 
however, made acquainted with this change of de- 

He accordingly advanced with his small com- 
mand, and momentarily anticipating reinforce- 
ments, approached to within about six miles of the 
enemy's camp, and to within two miles of some of 
his scouts of light horse. On the following day, 
he had succeeded in driving back about eleven 
hundred cattle, and had placed a line of guards and 
sentinels extending from the north to the south of 
the island to prevent the return of the cattle, and tc 


cut off the communication of the tories with the 
enemy. On the morning of this day, the 27th, the 
enemy gained the battle of Long Island, and par- 
ties of his horse making incursions into the country, 
General Woodhull found it necessary to retire to 
Jamaica with his force, reduced to less than one 
hundred men. 

Though, on the morning of the 28th, his force 
was reduced to ninety men, and constantly dimin- 
ishing, and though he had abandoned all hope of 
the reinforcements, on account of the interruption 
of the communication by the enemy, still, actuated 
by a high sense of honor, and in accordance with 
the ideas of military obedience which he had form- 
ed in the strictest school, Gen. Woodhull resolved 
to maintain his post, and, as far as possible, carry 
into execution the orders of the convention. Ac- 
cordingly, on this morning he succeeded in getting 
back within his own lines three hundred more cat- 
tle ; and, if pressed by the enemy, was intending 
to drive them, together with those assembled on 
the preceding day, back into the woods, as he re- 
tired. Still, he resolved not to make a final retreat 
until he should have heard from the convention. 
He therefore sent his troops back to a position four 
miles east of Jamaica, to await further orders, while 
he himself remained in the village till afternoon, in 
momentary expectation of a message from the con- 
vention, to which he had sent a messenger for in- 
structions, whether to return and take his seat as 
president of that body, or to remain in his com- 
mand. On this day he dined at Jamaica, with Mr. 
Hicks, mayor of New York, and then, with one or 
two companions, set out to join his troops. A 
shower of rain coming up, they took shelter at Car- 
penter's tavern, two miles east of Jamaica. While 
here, a squadron of British dragoons, and a party of 
infantry, piloted by a tory named John Cornwall, 
approached the tavern, when the inmates fled, and 


concealed themselves in a corn field and under the 
barn. G-en. Woodhull, with the hope of reaching 
his command, sprang for his horse, which was un- 
der the shed, and, while in the act of unhitching 
the bridle, was taken by Lieut. Huzzy, of the dra- 
goons. He immediately surrendered his sword; 
when this officer roughly commanded him to say: 
" God save the king !" The general replied : " God 
save us all !" On which this brutal lieutenant cow- 
ardly and cruelly attacked him with his sword — 
severely wounding him in the head, and mangling 
one of his arms from the shoulder to the wrist — 
and would have slain his prisoner, had not another 
officer, said to have been Major Delancey, arrested 
his savage violence. It is a singular circumstance, 
that this squadron was commanded by Major Crew, 
the general's nearest relative of the English branch 
of the family; and that in consequence of the bar- 
barous treatment of Gen. Woodhull, he is said either 
to have resigned his commission in disgust, or to 
have obtained leave to return to England. 

The general was taken to Jamaica, where his 
wounds were dressed; and on the next day, toge- 
ther with eighty other prisoners, of whom Colonel 
Troup, of New York, was one, was confined in a 
vessel at Gravesend, which had been used to trans- 
port live stock for the army. Through the interces- 
sion of an officer, inore humane than the others, he 
was removed to a house in New Utrecht, where he 
was allowed to receive medical attendance. He 
now sent for his wife, with a request that she should 
bring all the money which she could procure; 
which he afterwards distributed among the suffer- 
ing American prisoners. Soon afterwards he suf- 
fered amputation of the arm, which issued in a 
mortification, that terminated his life, September 
20th, 1776, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. His 
remains were removed by his wife, and interred at 
his residence, in Mastic. He left only one child, 


j . 

who was married first to Henry Nicoll, and after- 
wards to the late Gen. John Smith. 

Gen. Woodhull was as much distinguished for 
his private and domestic virtues, as for the zeal and 
talents displayed by him in the cause of his coun- 
try. His death spread a gloom over the state, and 
the inhuman treatment he received, aroused a strong 
spirit of indignation, and served to alienate still 
more the people from a country whose officers were 
capable of such acts of cruel barbarity. 

Caleb S. Woodhull is the grandson of John Wood- 
hull, the second son of the third Richard Woodhull. 
John married Elizabeth, daughter of William Hen- 
ry Smith, of Mastic, and, in 1740, settled at Miller's 
Place, where, fifty-four years afterward, he died, at 
the age of seventy-five, leaving nine children, Wil- 
liam, John, Caleb, Merrit S., Henry, James, Eliza- 
beth, Gilbert, and Jeffrey. Caleb, Henry, and Gil- 
bert, the latter of whom was a merchant in New 
York, died without issue. 

William became a clergyman, married Elizabeth, 
daughter of William Hedges, and was settled at 
Chester, New Jersey, where he died, leaving Tem- 
perance, Mary, Mehetable, William, Jeremiah, Eli- 
zabeth, John, Hannah, Henry, and Caleb. 

His brother John married Miss Spofford, of Phila- 
delphia, and was settled first as the minister of 
Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and next at Freehold, 
New Jersey, where he died; leaving Spofford, John 
and Gilbert. 

His brother James, who was a merchant in New 
York, married Keturah, daughter of Selah Strong, 
by whom he had Selah S., (who became a clergy- 
man, and one of the professors in the theological 
seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he 
died,) and Elizabeth, who was married to George 
Griswold, merchant of New York. His sister Eli- 
zabeth was married to Samuel Hopkins; and the 
youngest brother, Jeffrey, married Elizabeth Davis, 


and died in 1839, leaving William, Elizabeth, and 

Merrit S., the fourth son of John, was the father 
of CalebS. Wood hull. He inherited the patrimo- 
nial estate at Miller's Place, and became an exten- 
sive agriculturist. For many years he was a justice 
of the peace and magistrate, and such was his love 
for peace among his neighbors, that it was his usual 
practice first to officiate as arbitrator or peace-mak- 
er between the contending parties, and then to is- 
sue, process only when all efforts at reconciliation 
had entirely failed. He died of typhus fever, after 
an illness of eight days, on the 29th of November, 
1815, at the age of sixty-seven. His widow, whose 
name was Mary, and the daughter of Samuel and 
Hannah Davis, of Brookhaven, survived him many 
years, and died on the 26th of March, 1840, at the 
age of eighty-three. 

Caleb S. Wood hull, their third son, was born in 
1793, and received the rudiments of his early edu- 
cation at the village school, in Miller's Place. He 
afterwards studied with the Rev. Herman Daggett, 
who resided at Middle Island, in the town of Brook- 
haven, and with him pursued a course of classical 
studies, preparatory for college. From thence, in 
1808, at the age of fifteen, he entered the freshman 
class of Yale college, then under the presidency of 
the late Dr. Dwight, and in 1812, graduated with 
the honors of his class. 

After leaving college, Mr. Wood hull took charge 
for a few months, of the village school in which he 
received the first principles of his education. In 
1814, he commenced the study of law, in the city 
of New York, with George W?. Strong, a lawyer of 
great eminence, whose brother, the late Thomas S. 
Strong, of Brookhaven, first judge of the county of 
Suffolk, was the father of the Hon. Selah B. Strong, 
now one of the justices of the supreme court of this 
state. Mr. Woodhull was admitted to practice in 


1317, and he has pursued the profession of the law 
to the present time. 

His professional studies were interrupted at their 
commencement, by the events of the late war with 
Great Britain. In the fail of 1814, the city of New 
York was threatened with an invasion, by the co- 
operation of the enemy's forces, advancing in two 
columns — one by the way of Long Island sound, 
and the other by the way of Sandy Hook. On this 
occasion he entered the service of his country, as a 
private, in the militia, and was engaged on a tour 
of arduous duty, for the term of three months, dur- 
ing the remainder of the campaign. He still con- 
tinued in the militia service, until after the war, 
and held various commissions, chiefly in the gene- 
ral staff, until 1S30. when, tired of the idle parades 
in time of peace, and convinced of the utter inutili- 
ty of the militia system, as then conducted, he re- 
signed his commission. At that period he recom- 
mended and urged the reorganization of the militia 
substantially in accordance with the system which 
has recently been adopted. 

Mr. TToodhull is attached to the whig party, and 
has exercised an important influence in the coun- 
cils of his political friends. At the charter election 
of the spring of 1836, he was chosen to represent 
the second ward in the common council, and was 
continued by his constituents a member of that body 
for eight successive years. For the first three years 
he was a member of the board of assistant alder- 
men, for two of which he was chosen president of 
that body. In 1939, he was chosen a member of 
the board of aldermen, and was annually reelected 
to that office for five years in succession. In the 
year 1843, when his party was in power, he was 
chosen president of the board of aldermen, and of 
the common council, and, during the absence of 
the chief executive, was the acting mayor of the 
city during that year. 


Mr. Woodhull was, during nearly the whole pe- 
riod of his membership of the common council, 
chairman of the law committee, and in this capa- 
city many of the most important affairs of the city 
came before him for especial examination, and 
many measures of serious import were either de- 
feated, or recommended and carried into effect, by 
his influence. Among these was one, in 1840, pro- 
posing compensation to the members of the com- 
mon council. He reported against this measure, 
and it was lost. At the same time, he recommend- 
ed the reorganization of distinct executive depart- 
ments, a measure of vital importance to the wel- 
fare of the municipal government, and one whose 
adoption both parties have since repeatedly urged. 
Another measure of the utmost consequence to the 
citizens, was effected by Mr. Woodhull. It had be- 
come the practice of the city government, in viola- 
tion of the city charter, to introduce improvements 
or changes in regard to streets, public squares, and 
other matters, involving heavy expenditures, to be 
paid by taxes, and specific assessments on estates, 
supposed to be benefitted, without the knowledge 
of the proprietors, some of whom had been over- 
whelmed with ruin. A resolution to arrest this 
practice, and require notice of contemplated im- 
provements to be published, was introduced by Da- 
vid Graham, Esq. This resolution having been re- 
ferred to the law committee, Mr. Woodhull made a 
very able report on the subject, and, by the aid of 
his efforts, the present system was established — re- 
sulting in the greatest benefit to the city. 

In 1844, Mr. Woodhull was chosen by the friends 
of Mr. Clay one of the presidential electors for this 
state, and he received the highest number of votes 
given, with the exception of Hon. John A. Collier, 
who was one of the electors at large. 

In politics, the views of Mr. Woodhull are broad 
and li'oe] al, and he was never known to betray the 


confidence of his friends, or forfeit the respect and 
esteem of his political opponents. While in the 
common council, he was regarded, on both sides,. 
more as an impartial judge than as the advocate of 
a party. His talents, sound judgment, and integri- 
ty of purpose, have secured to him the highest con- 
fidence of his political friends, who have repeated- 
ly urged him to accept of nominations to higher 
positions, which his professional engagements and 
love of retirement have induced him to decline. 

Mr. Woodhull, in 1818, married Lavinia Nostrand, 
who died within a few months after her marriage. 
In 1830, he married Harriet, daughter of Abraham 
Fardon, of the city of New York. By this marriage 
he has three children — two sons and one daughter. 

Mr. Woodhull had four brothers and one sister. 
The eldest, John, to whom was devised the patri- 
monial estate at Miller's Place, was an active and 
enterprizing farmer. He held, for many years, the 
office of brigadier-general, and died July 21st, 1837. 

His widow now resides on the estate of her late 
husband, and has recently much improved and or- 
namented the adjoining grounds. 

Samuel Woodhull, the next in age, was a mer- 
chant in the city of New York, and died May 17th, 
1834, on his return passage from Europe — whither 
he had been for the benefit of his health — on board 
the ship Bristol. 

Charles, the fourth brother, was a farmer, resid- 
ing in his native village. 

His sister Maria was married to Samuel Hopkins, 
a wealthy farmer, in the town of Brookhaven, 
where she now resides. 

Albert Woodhull, the youngest, is the leading 
partner in the firm of Woodhull & Mint urn, in the 
city of New York, who are proprietors of the well 
known Liverpool line of packets, to which belong 
the splendid ships, Queen of the West and Consti- 




There are few men more respected for their ster- 
ling virtues, than the Hon. William Sawyer, mem- 
ber of congress from the fifth congressional district 
of Ohio. He was, during a considerable portion of 
his life, a blacksmith. He was not, however, one 
of that class who, while working with their hands, 
neglect their heads. On the contrary, when wield- 
ing the ponderous hammer, the mind of Mr. Sawyer 
was employed in deep reflection, and he acquired 
a habit of accurate and thorough investigation. He 
was not satisfied with superficial attainments, but 
explored the foundation and first principles of every 
thing. His leisure hours were spent in reading the 
lives of eminent men, both of ancient and modern 
days, and he observed the astonishing acquirements 
which they made by the ardent attachment and in- 
tense industry with which they cultivated science. 
He saw that it was by no secret magic that they at- 
tained to distinction and favor — but that it was by 
patient, untiring perseverance. In thus contem- 
plating the character of these men, and their eager 
love of learning, he made no inconsiderable profi- 
ciency in many branches of practical knowledge. 

Mr. Sawyer does not attempt to figure as an ora- 
tor. When he speaks, you hear plain common 
sense. In his speeches there are no rhetorical 
flourishes, but he strikes home at once. 

It is worthy of note that Andrew Kennedy, ano- 
ther practical member of congress, was once an ap- 
prentice of Mr. Sawyer's. May such men be mul- 



There was, says Howitt, a young- lad of fifteen — 
a fatherless, moneyless youth — to whom there came 
a very extraordinary idea, as he was floating for the 
first time down the noble Mississippi. He had read- 
in some foreign journal that America could boast 
the most picturesque and magnificent scenery in 
the world, but that she had not yet produced an 
artist capable of delineating it. On this thought he 
pondered and pondered till his brain began to 
whirl; and as he glided along on the smooth sur- 
face of the river, gazing with wonder and delight 
upon the ever varied and beautiful shores, the boy 
resolved within himself that he would take away 
the reproach from his country — that he would paint 
the beauties and sublimities of his native land. 

Some years passed away, and still John Banvard 
— for that was his name — dreamed of being a 
painter. What he was in his waking, working mo- 
ments, we do not know; but, at all events, he found 
time to turn over and over again the great thought 
that haunted him, till at length, ere he had attain- 
ed the age of manhood, it assumed a distinct and 
tangible shape in his mind, and he devoted himself 
to its realization. There mingled no idea of profit 
with his ambition; and, strange to say, we can 
learn nothing of any aspirations he may have felt 
after artistical excellence. His grand object, as he 
himself informs us, was to produce for his country 
the largest painting in the world. He determined to 
paint a picture of the beautiful scenery of the Mis- 
sissippi, which should be as superior to all others, 
in point of size, as that prodigious river is superior 
to the streamlets of Europe — a gigantic idea ! which 


seems truly kindred to the illimitable forests and 
vast extent of his native land. 

We will now say something of his eventful and 
romantic life ; which, with its hardships, disap- 
pointments and privations, had fitted him for the 
accomplishment of his herculean undertaking. 
He was born in the city of New York, where he 
received a good education, and is descended from 
an old French family. His grandfather was driven 
out of France by the bloody sword of persecution, 
daring one of the revolutions of the country, and 
fled to Amsterdam, in Holland. From thence he 
sailed to America, bringing with him little else but 
the heraldic honors of his family, for the Bon Verds 
(corrupted by the patois of the country to Banvard) 
were of highly respectable lineage. The coat of 
arms patented the family by the government, with 
the large antique silver seal, is now in possession 
of Rev. Joseph Banvard, brother to John, who is 
pastor of the Harvard Street church, Boston. Our 
hero showed the bent of his genius at a very early 
age. Being of delicate health in childhood, he was 
unable to enjoy the active, out-door sports of other 
boys; and, accordingly, he amused himself by 
drawing and painting, for which he exhibited de- 
cided talents, by becoming quite an accomplished 
draughtsman while yet a mere lad. 

While his more favored brothers were in the open 
air, at play, he sometimes would be in his room 
projecting some instrument of natural science — a 
camera obscura, or natural microscope. He once 
came very near losing his eyesight, by the explo- 
sion of a glass receiver, in which he was collecting 
hydrogen gas. His room was quite a laboratory 
and museum. He constructed a respectable diora- 
ma of the sea, having moving boats, fish, and a na- 
val engagement. He saved the pennies that were 
given him, not spending them in toys, or sweet- 
meats, as most youths would, and bought some 



types for a wooden printing press, of his own con- 
struction, and printed some handbills for his juve- 
nile exhibitions, which were quite genteel speci- 
mens of typography. The child was truly the father 
of the man in this, as in so many other cases, but 
he had much to pass through before the promise of 
the boy could be developed in the accomplishments 
of the man, as the sequel will show. 

Young Banvard evinced a great taste for poetry, 
at which he early began to try his versatile genius. 
He wrote some very pretty verses when he was 
about nine years of age. He has continued occa- 
sionally to amuse his leisure hours in this way up 
to the present time — and several of his poetical 
productions have recently appeared in the newspa- 
pers. His poem of the White Fawn, which he re- 
cites to his audiences, in illustration of a scene in 
his beautiful picture of the Mississippi, certainly 
stamps him a poet of no ordinary abilities. 

When Banvard was about fifteen years of age, 
his family met with a severe reverse of fortune. His 
father lived just long enough to see his property, 
collected by frugal industry and perseverance, 
swept away from him by the mismanagement of 
an indiscreet partner, and his family turned house- 
less upon a pitiless world. John then went to the 
west, poor and friendless, and far away from his 
mother, brother and sisters, and those he held dear. 
He arrived at Louisville, Kentucky, sought employ- 
ment, and procured a situation in a drug store — but 
this did not suit his taste. Instead of making pills, 
his employer would often find him with a piece of 
chalk or coal, sketching the likenesses of his fellow 
clerks upon the walls of the rooms, where they 
were putting up medicines. His employer told him 
he thought he could make better likenesses than he 
could pills. John thought so too, and so " threw 
physic to the dogs," and left the druggist. 

The next we find of Banvard, he is in the vil- 


lage of New Harmony, on the Wabash river, where, 
in company with three or four other young men, 
he " got up" some dioramic paintings, fitted them 
up for public exhibition, in a fiat-boat which they 
built for the purpose, and started off down the Wa- 
bash, with the intention of " coasting" that river 
into the Ohio, and so down the Mississippi to New 
Orleans- — thus exhibiting to the sparse population 
of the wilderness, specimens of the fine arts, at the 
same time replenishing their exhausted funds. 
This proved to be a very unfortunate speculation. 
The capital of the company gave out before they 
were able to complete their plans, and they left 
port with their boat in an unfinished condition, cal- 
culating to finish it with their first proceeds, they 
having invested their last few dimes in a supply of 
bacon, corn, meal, and potatoes — but fate conspired 
against them. The river was low, and none of 
them had ever descended the Wabash ; consequent- 
ly, they were ignorant of the channel, lodged on 
the sand bars, and hung on the snags until they 
exhausted their scanty supply of provisions. They 
at length found themselves fast on a sand bar, and 
down to their last peck of potatoes at the same 
time. They lahored hard all day to get out of this 
predicament, but without success ; and, having 
roasted their last potatoes, they went to bed, or, 
rather, to bench, for their money gave out before 
they had procured bedding, and they had to con- 
tent themselves with the softest plank of their seats 
for their slumbers. Next morning they were up 
before the sun, with their spirits refreshed by a 
night's repose, but without any breakfast; they 
jumped into the water, with their rails went stout- 
ly to work again, to force their boat over the bar. 
Over exertion, together with being in the water too 
long without food, brought a severe fit of ague upon 
Banvard. The bar upon which they were fast was 
called the Bone bank bar, as immediately oppo- 


site, on the shore, the bank of the river was full of 
organic remains. Some of the large bones were 
then protruding out of the side of the bank, in full 
view. As Banvard lay on the soft sand of the bar, 
as it was more comfortable than the hard plank of 
the boat, his head burning with the fever, and his 
limbs racked with pain, he looked at these gloomy 
relics of an antediluvian race, and felt as though 
his bones would soon be laid with them. But at 
sunset the rest of the company got the boat over the 
bar, took Banvard aboard, and landed in the woods, 
all nearly exhausted. Food was as scarce here as 
it was upon the bar, and all hands went supperless 
to bed. Next morning they started early, not in- 
tent on exhibiting specimens of the fine arts, but on 
obtaining something to eat, as by this time they 
were nearly half starved. But the contrary winds 
landed their luckless craft on Wabash island, which 
was uninhabited. Here, fortunately, they found 
some pa\vpaw r s, and they all feasted voraciously on 
them, except Banvard, who was too sick to eat any 
thing, and who lay upon one of the benches burn- 
ing with a violent fever. Next day they sent their 
handbills down to the village of Shawneetown, 
which was in sight, about seven miles ahead, in- 
forming the inhabitants that something would be 
" exhibited" in the dioramic line that evening, at 
their wharf — and so there was; for as the company 
approached the Avharf with their boat, no doubt 
with high expectations of a good supper, they ob- 
served a large audience awaiting their arrival. But 
the exhibition turned out different from what was 
expected. The boat lodged on a ledge of rocks 
about half a cable's length from the shore. The 
men from the boat got out a line to the people on 
the wharf, who pulled with the same eagerness that 
the half starved company on board pushed and 
pried with their poles. But fate, regardless of the 
philosophy of action and reaction, as well as of the 


interests of the fine arts at Shawneetown, held the 
boat fast, and the audience went away without a 
sight of the paintings, and the artists to sleep again 
without a supper. That night the swells from a 
passing steamer lifted the boat from the rocks, and 
set it afloat down the river; and w r hen those on 
board awoke in the morning, they found them- 
selves hard aground again, on the Cincinnati bar, 
eight miles below Shawneetown. The boat was 
got off with but little trouble, and they landed in a 
settlement. Here they were very liberal in their 
terms, as money was scarce, and they wanted to 
make sure of something to eat. A bushel of pota- 
toes, a fowl, or a dozen of eggs, were good for an 
admission to their interesting exhibition. That 
night, after they got through exhibiting their paint- 
ings, they had a luxurious supper. Fasting so long 
appeared to have done Banvard some good, for it 
starved the fever out of him; he found, as we often 
do, that adversity has its blessings, and in a few 
days he was entirely well. 

The adventurers continued on with their boat, 
stopping at the settlements along the shore, and 
" astonishing the natives" with their dioramas. 
The boat was not very large, and if the audience 
collected too much on one side, the water would 
intrude over their low gunwales into the exhibition 
room. This kept the company, by turns, in the un- 
artist-like employment of pumping, to keep the 
boat from sinking. Sometimes the swells from a 
passing steamer would cause the water to rush 
through the cracks of the weather-boarding, and 
give the audience a bathing. Banvard says they 
made no extra charge for this part of the exhibi- 
tion, although it was not mentioned in the pro- 

Money being scarce, they were compelled to re- 
ceive truck and trade for admissions, such as 
onions, potatoes, eggs, &c, &c. It was no unusual 


thing- to see a family coming to witness the "show 
boat," the father with a bushel of potatoes, the mo- 
ther with a fowl, and the children with a pumpkin 
a-piece, for their admission fees. On a certain 
night, while they were exhibiting, some rogue let 
the boat loose, and it drifted off several miles down 
the stream with the unconscious spectators, who 
were landed in a thick cane brake, about two miles 
below. They were obliged to make their way 
home as best they could. 

At Plumb point the boat was attacked by a party 
of the Murrell robbers, a large organized banditti, 
who infested the country for miles around ; and 
here Banvard came near losing his life. Several 
pistol shots were fired at him; but, being in the 
dark, none of them took effect, although several 
lodged in the deck of the boat, within a few inches 
of him. After a desperate resistance, during which 
one of the robbers was shot, the boat was rescued. 
During the encounter, one of the company received 
a severe wound in the arm from a bowie knife, but 
the rest escaped unhurt. Mr. Banvard continued 
with the boat until it arrived at the Grand Gulf, 
where he obtained a commission to paint some 
views. He had found the receipts of the floating 
expedition to be more potatoes than dimes — more 
eggs than dollars — so he sold out his interest and 

After this, he engaged in painting at New Or- 
leans, Natchez, and subsequently at Cincinnati and 
Louisville, and was liberally rewarded. Not con- 
tent, however, he executed a very fine panorama 
of the city of Venice, and exhibited it in the west, 
with considerable success. He finally lost this 
painting by the sinking of a steamer, upon which it 
was being transported to the city of Nashville. 
Having accumulated, by his art, a little capital, we 
next find him as the proprietor of the St. Louis mu- 
seum, which he had purchased. But here fate 


frowned again upon his efforts. He remained in 
St. Louis just long enough to lose all he had previ- 
ously earned, and then left for Cincinnati, where 
he fared little better. He then procured a small 
boat and started down the Ohio river, without a 
dime, and living several days upon nuts, which he 
collected from the woods. His next stopping place 
was a small town, where he did some painting, and 
sold a revolving pistol, for which he had given $12 
in St. Louis, for $25. With this capital he bought 
a larger boat, got some produce aboard, which he 
retailed out along shore — then sold his concern for 
$50. Having now a little capital, the young artist 
made several very successful speculations, and 
managed to make, during this Quixotic expedition, 
several thousand dollars. With the capital thus ac- 
cumulated, he commenced his grand project of 
painting the panorama of the Mississippi. 

For this purpose, he procured a small skiff, and 
descended the river to make the necessary draw- 
ings, in the spring of 1840, and the first sketch was 
made just before he became of age. Had he been 
aware, when he commenced the undertaking, of 
the vast amount of labor it required, he would have 
shrunk from the task in dismay — but, having com- 
menced the work, he was determined to proceed, 
being spurred on to its completion, perhaps, by the 
doubts of some of his friends, to whom he commu- 
nicated his project, as to its practicability, and by 
the assertions of some foreign writers, that "Ame- 
rica had no artists commensurate with the grandeur 
and extent of her scenery." The idea of gain ne- 
ver entered his mind when he commenced the un- 
dertaking, but he was actuated by a patriotic and 
honorable ambition, that America should produce 
the largest painting in the world. 

One of the greatest difficulties he encountered, 
was the preparatory labor he had to undergo, in 
making the necessary drawings. For this purpose 


he had to travel thousands of miles alone in an 
open skiff, crossing and recrossing the rapid stream, 
in many places over two miles in breadth, to select 
proper points of sight from which to take his sketch ; 
his hands became hardened with constantly plying 
the oar, and his skin as tawny as an Indian's, from 
exposure to the rays of the sun and the vicissitudes 
of the weather. He would be weeks together with- 
out speaking to a human being, having no other 
company than his rifle, which furnished him with 
his meat from the game of the woods or the fowls 
of the river. When the sun began to sink behind 
the lofty bluffs, and evening to approach, he would 
select some secluded sandy cove, overshadowed by 
the lofty cotton wood, draw out his skiff from the 
water, and repair to the woods to hunt his supper. 
Having killed his game, he would return, dress, 
cook, and from some fallen log would eat it with 
his biscuit, with no other beverage than the whole- 
some water of the noble river that glided by him. 
Having finished his lonely meal, he would roll him-, 
self in his blanket, creep under his frail skiff, which 
he turned over, to shield him from the night dews, 
and with his portfolio of drawings for his pillow, 
and the sand of the bar for his bed, would sleep 
soundly till the morning; when he would arise 
from his lowly couch, eat his breakfast before the 
rays of the rising sun had dispersed the humid mist 
from the surface of the river — then would start 
fresh to his task again. In this way he spent over 
four hundred days, making the preparatory draw- 
ings. Several nights during the time, he was com- 
pelled to creep from under his skiff where he slept, 
and sit all night on a log, and breast the pelting 
storm, through fear that the banks of the river 
would cave upon him, and to escape the falling 
trees. During this time, he pulled his little skiff 
more than two thousand miles. In the latter part 
of the summer he reached New Orleans. The yel- 


low fever was raging in the city, but unmindful of 
that, he made his drawing of the place. The sun 
the while was so intensely hot, that his skin be- 
came so burnt that it peeled from off the back of 
his hands, and from his face. His eyes became in- 
flamed by such constant and extraordinary efforts, 
from which unhappy effects he has not recovered 
to this day. His drawings completed, he erected a 
building at Louisville, Kentucky, to transfer them 
to the canvas. His object in painting his picture 
in the west, was to exhibit it to, and procure testi- 
monials from, those who were best calculated to 
judge of its fidelity — the practical river men — and 
he has procured the names of nearly all the princi- 
pal captains and pilots navigating the Mississippi, 
freely testifying to the correctness of the scenery. 

Banvard was a self-taught artist — no — he had a 
teacher. He went not to Rome, indeed, to study 
the works of hands long since passed away; but he 
studied the omnipresent works of the One Great 
Living Master! — Nature was his teacher. Many a 
time, at the close of a lovely summer's day, after 
finishing his solitary evening meal, would he sit 
upon some lonely rock, near the margin of the no- 
ble river, when all was still, save the sweet chant 
of the feathered songsters of the adjacent forest, or 
the musical ripple of the eddying waters at his feet, 
and watch the majestic bluff as it gradually faded 
through the gray twilight from the face of day into 
the darker shades of night. Then would he turn 
and study the rising moon, as it peered above the 
opposite shore, ascending the deep blue ether high 
in the heavens above, casting its mellow light over 
the surrounding landscape, and gilding the smooth 
surface of the river with its silvery hue. It was 
then and there he studied Nature in its lonely 
grandeur, and seized those glowing moonlighl 
scenes which now adorn his canvas, so vividly too 


as if painted with a pencil dipped in the silvery 
beams of the living moon itself 

During the time this undaunted young man was 
transferring his drawings to the canvas, he had to 
practise the most rigid economy, lest his money 
should give out before the picture was completed. 
He could not afford to hire a menial assistant to do 
the ordinary labor about his paint room; and when 
the light of day would recede from the canvas 
upon which he was at work, instead of taxing re- 
laxation when the night came, he would be found 
grinding his colors or splitting his wood for the en- 
suing day. Still, with all these self-denials and pri- 
vations, his last cent was expended long before his 
last sketch was transferred to his last piece of can 
vas. He then endeavored to get credit for a few 
pieces of this material, from the merchant of whom 
he had purchased the principal part for his paint- 
ing, and with whom he had expended hundreds of 
dollars while speculating on the river, but in vain. 
Still, not discouraged, he laid his project aside for a 
time, and sought other work. Fortunately, he ob- 
tained a small job, to decorate regalia for a lodge 
of Odd Fellows, and with a light heart went cheer- 
fully to work to earn the money which would pur- 
chase the material to complete his picture. With 
the avails he procured the needed canvas. 

At last his great project is finished ! The Missis- 
sippi is painted ! and his country now boasts the 
largest painting in the world ! But the trials of 
our persevering artist were not all passed. The his- 
tory of the first exhibition of this wonderful produc- 
tion is curious, and furnishes another illustration of 
the necessity there is, never to despair. The gas 
company of Louisville, before they would put up 
fixtures for him, compelled him to deposit double 
the price of such fixtures in their bank. To raise 
this amount, he gave a piece of philosophical appa- 
ratus to a society in the city, provided they bought 


fifty tickets in advance. They agreed to this, as 
they desired the apparatus very much, as it was 
worth twice the amount they gave for the tickets. 
The city authorities also ordered him to pay a tax 
for exhibiting his work — a work of which they 
ought to have been proud, and which would not 
only reflect honor upon the city, but make it noted 
throughout the civilized world. 

The first night he opened his great picture for 
exhibition in Louisville, not a single person thought 
it worth while to visit it. He received not a cent — 
the night was rainy. The artist returned to his 
room with a sorrowful heart; he sat down upon a 
box and looked at the blank wall, where, but a few 
days before, with high spirits and a cheerful heart, 
he had put the finishing touch to his task of long 
years of toil and hope. His heart almost sank 
within him; but he did not despair. The next day 
he sallied out among the boatmen by the river, 
and gave them tickets; telling them they must see 
it; that it was their river he had painted. At night 
the boatmen came, and with them a few of their 
friends. When they saw the accuracy of the paint- 
ing, they were delighted, and their wild enthusiasm 
was raised as one known object after another passed 
by them. The boatmen told the citizens it was a 
grand affair; that it was correctly delineated, and 
its accuracy could be relied upon. Finally, the 
public became convinced that the picture was 
really worth looking at, and then they rushed to 
see it by hundreds. 

The great artist left the city and went to Boston, 
the Athens of America, where his beautiful painting 
was duly appreciated. The senate and house of 
representatives of Massachusetts honored the artist 
by passing a series of highly complimentary reso- 
lutions on his wonderful production. Admiring 
thousands upon thousands visited it, many coming 
hundreds of miles — from the remotest parts of New 



England- — to view this wonderful production. In- 
deed, so great was the desire to see it, that the 
rail road companies ran express trains from adja- 
cent towns into the city for the accommodation of 
the eager throngs who wished to view the greatest 
achievement of individual enterprise upon record, 
And now our persevering young artist is justly 
reaping a golden harvest, having already made a 
fortune, realizing fifty thousand dollars during the 
first seven months' exhibition in Boston alone; and 
at the present time his great work is attracting 
large audiences in New York city. 

The fame of the artist is his country's property. 
His genius and enterprise will be honored, as Gov. 
Briggs beautifully remarked, so long as the great 
Father of Waters, and its numerous tributaries, 
continue to pour their flowing tides into the great 


This person, who has been for many years at the 
head of a large type foundry in the city of New 
York, and who holds an honorable office in 
the county, was once a poor friendless, errand-boy 
in a printing office. Although, since his arrival at 
manhood, he has had many reverses, yet by strug- 
gling manfully he always came off victorious. 
With truth has it been said, that the early frowns 
of Fortune are the best security for her final smiles. 



A sketch of the Rathbone family, whose mem 
bers are found in Albany, New York, Buffalo, and 
other cities, would fill a volume. They are of Sax- 
on origin, and their ancestors, men of great wealth 
and high standing, continued to reside in Liverpool, 
England, for more than three hundred years. Their 
American ancestor, a younger brother, named John 
Rathbone, emigrated to this country with the "pil- 
grim fathers," about the year 1620, and finally set- 
tled at Newport Rhode Island. His descendants 
are very numerous, and have settled in many por- 
tions of the United States. 

The Rev. John Rathbone, father of the subject of 
this memoir, was born at Stonington, Connecticut, 
Jan. 26, 1729. He subsequently settled at Ashford, 
Windham county, in the same state. He was in 
the ministry 73 years, and died at Willington, Au- 
gust 2, 1826, aged 97 years. His eldest son, John 
Rathbone, a wealthy merchant of the state of New 
York, died there March 13, 1843, aged 91 years, 
leaving three sons and eight daughters. His son, 
John Rathbone, died at Albany, Aug. 13, 1842, aged 
65 years, and was buried in the city of New York. 
He was also very wealthy. 

Alanson Douglass, the grandson of the Rev. John 
Rathbone, above named, was a banker, and presi- 
dent of the Troy bank. 

Samuel Rathbone, the subject of our sketch, is 
the youngest son of the Rev. John Rathbone. He 
was born at Stonington point, New London county, 
Connecticut, July 1, 1776. He married Miss Mary 
Turner, eldest daughter of Isaac Turner, Esq., a 
merchant of that county, on the 13th of April, 1800, 
by whom he has had ten children. 


In 1802, he went into business as a merchant at 
Hartford, Connecticut. He subsequently removed 
to Charlemont, Franklin county, Massachusetts, 
where he was postmaster, and magistrate, until 
1816. He afterwards conducted, his business in the 
cities of New York and Albany, for many years. 

In June, 1841, he removed to Buffalo, his present 

A son, Henry A. Rathbone, is a banker in the 
city of New Orleans. Another son, Isaac T. Rath- 
bone, is a member of the senior class at Yale college. 

His eldest son, James, became a merchant in 
New York city, and died at Buffalo, Aug. 17, 1843, 
aged 41 years. Another son, Samuel, was educated 
at New Brunswick college, New Jersey, became a 
lawyer, and died in New York, Nov. 6, ls34, in his 
25th year. 

The Rev. Valentine W. Rathbone, a brother of 
our subject, died at Bellingham, Massachusetts, 
May 12, 1813, aged 52 years. Another brother, the 
Rev. David Rathbone, died at Lawrenceville, Penn- 
sylvania, August 12, 1823, aged 60 years. They, 
as well as their father, the Rev. John Rathbone, 
were all clergymen of the baptist denomination. 



This gentleman, who has for so long a period 
been the popular representative in congress of the 
Charleston district of South Carolina, was born in 
that city on the 6th of April, 1796. He is a man of 
great energy, but is moved only hy strong impulses. 
When fully aroused, a more complete transforma- 
tion cannot be imagined. The eyes, which a mo- 
ment before were almost without expression, now 
flash with the fires of the soul ; and the man who 
appeared too indolent for the slightest exertion, en- 
chains his audience by the beautiful imagery in 
which his sublime ideas are clothed. He is full of 
earnestness, and speaks as if he expected to con- 

As chairman of the committee on naval affairs, 
he has introduced many important measures relat- 
ing to that branch of the service. 

Mr. Holmes is not one of those who, while they 
are extremely tenacious of their own rights, forget 
those of others. The following incident will serve 
as an illustration: Some sessions ago, during one 
of the "abolition scenes" in the house of represent- 
atives, a disposition was manifested to deprive Mr. 
Adams of his right to reply. Mr. Holmes, although 
opposed to the views of the ex-president, indignant- 
ly demanded that justice should be done. He suc- 
ceeded. Lord Morpeth, who was upon the floor, 
approached Mr. Holmes and said: "That is mag- 
nanimous. That is the way we do things in our 
country !" 

Mr. Holmes is married, and has we believe seve- 
ral children. 



This artist, a member of the National Academy 
of Design, was born at New Haven, Vermont, on 
the 3d of April, 1307. In 1815, after a lingering ill- 
ness, which reduced him to poverty, his father died, 
leaving a widow with eight children, to buffet with 
the storms of the world, a duty which she well per- 
formed. Alanson was the youngest child, and 
when only ten years of age, left home to procure 
his own living. After four years of hard labor on a 
farm, he went to New York city, for the purpose of 
learning a trade; but this being injurious to his 
health, he abandoned it, and in 1825 removed to 
Middleburv, Connecticut. He there en^a^ed him- 
self to a sign painter, and for whom he made seve- 
ral drawings. His employer praised them extrava- 
gantly; but, being poor, was unable to do much 
more. This mode of payment not being sufficient- 
ly substantial, he left and apprenticed himself to a 
machinist. This trade he was learning rapidly, 
when the failure of his employer once more threw 
him upon the world. He subsequently opened a 
small shop on his own account, but it proved a fail- 
ure, and he lost his all. He was then compelled to 
return to the practical details of the trade. Having 
by this time had a plentiful share of the dark shades 
of life, he made that change which generally gives 
to its stern realities a lighter ^low. In other words, 
in 1332 he married. But the little children soon 
began to grow up like olive branches around his 
table, so that his expenses soon began to exceed his 
means. In this dilemma, in spite of many discou- 
ragements, he commenced the business of portrait 
painting. For his first portrait he received only 
two dollars and a half; but he took heart, and by 


degrees, after a series of unexampled privations and 
sufferings he has now obtained no mean celebrity 
as a painter. In 1837, he was elected an associate 
of the National Academy of Design. He still re- 
sides in New York city. 


In presenting an outline sketch of the cheerful 
physiognomy of this veteran editor, let not the 
reader suppose that we are so presumptuous as to 
attempt his history. To do justice to one who has 
not only been a military officer, a consul and a 
judge, but who has edited more newspapers than 
any other man in the Union, would require a 

The Major was born in the city of Philadelphia, 
on the 19th of July, 1785. He is, therefore, in his 
sixty-third year — but Time deals so leniently with 
those born to look on the bright side of things, that 
he has the appearance of a much younger man. 
While many of his editorial brethren have fallen, 
at the stern summons of death, the Major still lives 
and laughs, gathering the roses from among the 
thorns of life. 

He has been so long accustomed to activity, that 
on the day when he shall resign the editorial chair, 
he may safely commence writing his epitaph. 

He still resides in New York city, where we be- 
lieve he publishes the Messenger. 

He is an Israelite, and married a dark eyed 
daughter of Jerusalem, named Jackson. 



Mr. Richards was born in the city of London, in 
1821. His father, the Rev. William Richards, left 
England with his family in 1831, and soon after- 
wards settled in Georgia, where he has since re 

During his school days, Addison's hours of recre- 
ation were passed in rambling in the fields and 
woods, after wild flowers, and in transferring to pa- 
per their forms of grace and beauty. In due time 
it was his ambition to seize the nobler attractions 
of nature in the ever varying landscape. His ear- 
liest production of any consequence, was a volume 
entitled, The American Artist, or Young Lady's In- 
structor in Flower Painting. It was highly com- 
plimented by the press, and a very large edition 
was sold. When this work appeared he was pur- 
suing his studies, both literary and artistic, at Bal- 
timore, with no other aids than what he was able 
to pick up from careful observation and from inter- 
course with fellow students, supporting himself 
meanwhile by industry in other channels. In 1839 
he returned to the south, and opened a drawing 
school in Augusta, Georgia, where he taught with 
great success for the three following years. The 
seasons of vacation were passed in rambles through 
the picturesque regions of that state, in the collec- 
tion of materials for a projected volume, illustrative 
of Georgia scenery. In these journeyings he was 
accompanied by his brother, W. C. Richards, Esq., 
to whose charge the editorship of the work was 
committed. It subsequently appeared under the 
title of Georgia Illustrated, and was liberally and 
extensively patronized. In addition to the beauti- 
ful sketches, many of the topographical articles were 


contributed by the subject of our notice. These 
pictures have since appeared in Graham's Magazine, 
and other periodicals. Notwithstanding its liberal 
patronage, the proprietors found the work too ex- 
pensive to be continued with any hope of profit. 
The feature of landscape illustration was, however, 
retained in the Orion, a new work with which it 
was followed. This was an elegant monthly ma- 
gazine of literature and art, of great typographical 
beauty. On the publication of the fourth volume, 
the Orion passed into other hands, and was soon af- 
terward discontinued. Among the numerous lite- 
rary contributions to its pages, by Addison, were 
The Try sting Rock, The Village Postmaster, Marga- 
ret Donaldson, Mauvaise Honte, Locomotion, etc. 
He has subsequently contributed to several other 
periodicals of high standing. But our purpose is to 
speak of him as an artist. 

It was during the publication of the last volume 
of the Orion that he took up his abode in Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, as a portrait painter. He re- 
mained in that city, meeting with tolerable suc- 
cess, until the fall of 1844, when he resolved to es- 
tablish himself permanently in the city of New 
York, where he has since resided, laboring with 
increasing success and patronage. 

His time is now devoted to landscape painting, 
in which department he is best known, and in 
which his reputation will ultimately lie. 



This distinguished gentleman was born in the 
county of Accomac, Virginia, on the 11th of De- 
cember, 1810. He is the son of Col. T. M. Bayly, 
and on the maternal side, the grandson, of Gen. 
John Cropper, a brave officer of the revolution. 
The ancestors of Judge Bayly, emigrated to this 
country from England in 1666, and settled on the 
estate on which the judge at present resides. Hav- 
ing graduated at the University of Virginia, where 
he studied law, our subject, in 1830, commenced 
the practice of his profession, in which he rapidly 
rose to distinction. In 1836 he was, by a large 
majority, elected by the legislature to fill the vacan- 
cy occasioned by the death of Gen. S. E. Parker. 
In 1841, Judge Upshur having been appointed 
secretary of the navy, Gen. Bayly was elected his 
successor by a very large majority of the legislature, 
many of whom were politically opposed to him. 
On resigning his seat in that body, the members of 
both houses, without distinction of party, gave him 
a grand entertainment at the Exchange hotel. He 
held his judicial office two years, to the entire satis- 
faction of the circuit, as was fully attested by the 
universal sentiment of regret on his resignation. 
In 1844, on the appointment of Mr. Wise as minis- 
ter to Brazil, Mr. Bayly, at a great sacrifice of taste 
and interest, yielded to the urgent solicitations of 
his friends, and was, by a large majority over a 
whig opponent, elected to congress, in which body 
he has to the present time continued to add fresh 
laurels to those previously won. Distinguished for 
logical acumen and a forcible nervousness of deliv- 
ery, he ranks among the very first class of debaters. 
With a refined classical taste, and the courtesy of 


the true Virginia gentleman, he commands the 
respect of all parties. In May, 1837, Gen. Bayly 
was united in marriage with Miss Evelyn May, a 
very amiable lady, the daughter of Judge John F. 
May, of Petersburg, Virginia. They have one 
daughter of whom they have every reason to be 


Oliver Evans, the " Watt of America/ 9 was born at 
Newport, Delaware, in 1756. His parents were far- 
mers. At the age of fourteen, Oliver was appren- 
ticed to a wagon maker. Even at that period, was 
manifested his ardent desire for knowledge. His 
master, an illiterate man, observing his apprentice 
employing his leisure evenings in study, through 
motives of parsimony, forbade him using candles; 
but young Evans was not to be discouraged, for 
collecting, at the close of each day, the shavings 
made from his work, he would take them to the 
chimney corner, and by their uncertain light, pur- 
sue his evening studies! Yet this poor boy subse- 
quently invented many wonderful machines, among 
which was " Eructor Amphibolis," a steam carriage, 
being the first application, in America, of steam power 
to the propelling of land carriage. He died on the 
21st of April, 1819. ' 



Seventy years ago, says the American Literary 
Magazine, in a country village of Massachusetts, 
the " meeting-house " bell was ringing on a Sunday 
morning; and grave-faced farmers, with their ma- 
tronly wives and healthy children, were assembling 
for " meeting." Out from a plain parallelopiped of 
a house, before which stood a few stiff trees, came 
a family, dressed in their best suits in honor of the 
day, and proceeded with reverent steps to the house 
of God. The father did not, as was his custom, 
stop to fasten the front door of the house, through 
which they had issued ; for one of his children, a 
boy of twelve, had complained of illness that morn- 
ing, and had been left at home. One, however, 
who could have looked into the front room of that 
house, where sat the boy, would have seen the 
symptoms of illness disappearing fast, as the sound 
of the retreating footsteps of the family came less 
and less distinctly on his ear. Carefully watching 
from the window, he sees the last of the party pass 
from his sight; and then, with his face red with 
excitement and the consciousness of trespassing on 
forbidden grounds, he steals on tiptoe into the ad- 
joining room. There hangs the object of his curi- 
osity, to examine which he has feigned illness — his 
father's watch — a stout, old, silver timepiece, whose 
constant, careless tickings have long bewitched the 
boy's brain with the desire to understand their se- 
cret. The old watch seems to tick louder as the 
little fellow approaches it. He takes it down hastily 
from the nail where it hangs, opens it and peers in 
among the wheels which he has so longed to see. 
His eye, though unpractised, understands at a 
glance how cog moves cog and wheel turns wheel, 


from the barrel to the scapement, which now drops 
off the seconds less loudly as he holds the watch in 
his hand. But this is not enough; he must look 
more closely. He takes a little knife from his 
pocket, arid handling it with the skill of an old 
workman, soon has the watch in pieces. All its 
delicate parts are lying before him, and the watch 
ticks no longer. Till this moment, in the eagerness 
of his curiosity, he has thought of nothing but the 
curious machine before him ; but now, in the still- 
ness of the room, the recollection of his stern father 
comes over his mind, and he almost shudders to 
think what he has done. " Meeting" must be half 
over; and, if he would escape detection, the watch 
must be put together uninjured before the family 
return. There is no time to be lost. Skilfully his 
little fingers arrange the intricate machinery, and 
put wheel after wheel into its place. But it is slow 
and nice work, especially for a boy's clumsy hands; 
and before it is done the sunshine in the room tells 
that the hour of noon has nearly arrived, and that 
the long sermon must be nearly finished. At last, 
however, the task is completed, just as the boy sees 
the foremost of the returning congregation; and 
with the joy of escaping detection, and the greater 
joy of understanding the machinery, he hangs the 
watch up in its place ; and returning to the other 
room, takes his seat to await the arrival of the fami- 
ly, with his hands full of the Bible and his head 
full of cog-wheels. 

The boy was Eli Whitney the inventor of the 
invaluable cotton gin ! 


The notices of Gen. Cass and Col. Johnson arf 
unavoidably deferred until our next volume. 





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ru a .npg CT219.H94 

The Americanbiographical sketch book.